More competition and more devices and options are good and I wish Kobo all success there. At the same time realistically they have very slim chance to succeed. If they had difficulty gaining market share in the North America, then it is naive to think that they can easily retreat to international markets. Although Kobo has epub format that is more popular outside Americas, international markets are not easy. There are more challenges due to different languages, cultures, market structure, ways of doing business. No one is going to pay more money just for a different book format (mobi vs. epub).
I would characterize the current e-reader market in Europe as two tiered: (1) cheaper Kindle and (2) more expensive and more functional devices (Sony, Pocketbooks, Onyx). Kindle is cheap and ergonomic but loading non-Amazon books may be complicated. On the other hand more expensive devices are providing more features, localized interfaces etc. It is hard to imagine how Kobo can compete with cheaper Kindle unless they offer more functionality. And if they would match their price to Kindle, then they still would have to compete with Amazon. The only chance for Kobo is if they customize their devices to local languages. The irony is that it is not even possible to buy Kobo reader internationally outside US, CA and UK. I had to order mine via a friend in Canada. So much for their international focus.
Last edited by karunaji; 04-20-2011 at 10:45 AM.