It has most certainly been a mixed year for eReaders in 2012. While largely eReader demands have diminished in the face of growing tablet and phablet sales that also double up as an eReader, one particular company claims that its performance has actually exceeded forecasts for the year. While older companies such as Barnes & Noble has reported sales figures which raises concerns about the future of the eReader industry, and some of the bookstores reporting decent business during the holiday season, the Japanese retailer Rakuten owned Kobo has surprised everybody by posting better than predicted figures.
Although Kobo is a Japanese owner business, it is based out of Toronto. The company claimed that they have in fact doubled there eReader sales in 2012. A total of 4 million of the Kobo eReader has been sold only in the last six months of the year which has largely exceeded the predictions from the market. Resultantly the number of Kobo owners has risen to 12 million. DigiTimes reports that the figure represents 20% of the entire eReader market in the world.
The holiday season and December as a whole has been a phenomenal time for the company with sales increasing by a whopping 150%; perfect time for celebrating the third anniversary of the fledgling company. At a time when the eReader industry is badly looking for inspiration Kobo’s performance is quite an achievement; something that the industry can take a lot of heart from. On a slightly different note and one that the average eReader user would find interesting, we have been looking at some interesting developments with Amazon launching the Kindle Paperwhite in Canada and Txtr Beagle appearing at the FCC which all indicates that the ubiquitous eReader is still alive. All we have to see is whether the eReader can survive the onslaught of the tablet and hold its own.