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Old 12-22-2009, 07:42 PM   #1
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Borders CEO nixes idea of own e-reader (Reuters)

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Borders Group Inc does not plan to develop its own electronic book reader because of the cost and time it takes to do so, its chief executive said on Friday.

Earlier this week, Borders announced a deal with electronic download service Kobo Inc, a spin-off of Canadian bookseller Indigo Books & Music Inc, that would provide Borders with e-book sales services by June 2010. Borders holds a 20 percent stake in Kobo.

"I don't anticipate us doing our own e-reader for a whole variety of reasons, not least of which is that we're not a technology company. We're booksellers," Borders Chief Executive Ron Marshall told Reuters in an interview.
from:http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BH4H820091218
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #2
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Borders' deal with Kobo will allow shoppers to download e-books onto almost all e-readers. It will give Borders' shoppers access to a catalog of 2 million books for sale, and another 1.8 million free books. Kobo will also offer newspapers and magazines for download.
Sloppy journalism.

From the blog post on http://blog.kobobooks.com/2009/12/15...time-anyplace/

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We have over 2 million titles – with US$9.99 bestsellers and over 1.8M free titles.
The 2m number includes 1.8m Internet Archive ebooks.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:53 PM   #3
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It's rather refreshing to see that someone's actively choosing to not develop another cookie-cutter EPD device to tie to their bookstore services.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
It's rather refreshing to see that someone's actively choosing to not develop another cookie-cutter EPD device to tie to their bookstore services.
I guess, but if they don't have a compelling ebook solution, and if ebooks take off, they run the risk of going the way of Tower Records, Sam Goody and the like....
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:32 PM   #5
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That's a smart move. There's already plenty of devices on the market, and they're selling the Sony's (and I believe they get a cut of the Sony ebooks that are sold for those units, at least I hope so). I'm really rooting for Borders to make it through this crisis.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:43 PM   #6
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I guess, but if they don't have a compelling ebook solution, and if ebooks take off, they run the risk of going the way of Tower Records, Sam Goody and the like....
Since they have a stake in Kobo, and it looks like Kobo plans to build an ereader next year*, they will probably still have some skin in the game.

*http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/1...-new-e-reader/
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:29 PM   #7
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What I'd prefer them to do is sell ebooks online at competitive prices.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:33 PM   #8
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If this leads to a standard eBook format, I'm all for it. I'm a bit leery of all these bookstores pushing their own hardware/software solutions, myself.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:50 AM   #9
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I'd like to say that I've seen the fruits of software development at both Borders and Barnes & Noble and I gotta say it's a good call not trying to build their own device.

That said, Borders started out in the tech game at the very beginning of the companies history with a proprietary computer inventory system that they also sold to other stores.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:27 PM   #10
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If this leads to a standard eBook format, I'm all for it. I'm a bit leery of all these bookstores pushing their own hardware/software solutions, myself.
OK, but....

Let's presume Borders winds up putting out ebooks in ePub using a totally standard and portable DRM, or no DRM, and a given publisher makes a big chunk of books available in ePub. E.g. you buy an ebook via Borders, and you can use it on your nook, your Sony, your iThing, Stanza, whatever.

However, once the ebook is in this standard format, that also means Sony and B&N will be able to sell it. So where exactly is the incentive to buy an ebook via Borders? Especially if you can get your Sony or nook ebook delivered directly to your device?

I don't see any real compelling reason for yet another device, but I do not see much of a future for Borders in this scenario.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
OK, but....

Let's presume Borders winds up putting out ebooks in ePub using a totally standard and portable DRM, or no DRM, and a given publisher makes a big chunk of books available in ePub. E.g. you buy an ebook via Borders, and you can use it on your nook, your Sony, your iThing, Stanza, whatever.

However, once the ebook is in this standard format, that also means Sony and B&N will be able to sell it. So where exactly is the incentive to buy an ebook via Borders? Especially if you can get your Sony or nook ebook delivered directly to your device?

I don't see any real compelling reason for yet another device, but I do not see much of a future for Borders in this scenario.
Presumably Borders realizes this and that's why they just have a 25% stake in the company doing it for them.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:42 PM   #12
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OK, but....
However, once the ebook is in this standard format, that also means Sony and B&N will be able to sell it. So where exactly is the incentive to buy an ebook via Borders? Especially if you can get your Sony or nook ebook delivered directly to your device?
Uh...I can get real books physically delivered directly to my house by Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders right now. What incentive is there now for people to shop from different places? Amazon and Walmart sell MP3s even though Apple and Microsoft have their own players.

There are always incentives and opportunities for businesses in these situations-if not Borders, then someone else. To dismiss them out of hand just because they don't jump on the hardware bandwagon is pretty shortsighted-I'm guessing some of the hardware vendors are going to regret jumping in so quickly once the inevitable shakeout occurs as well.

Last edited by kjk; 12-23-2009 at 07:23 PM.
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