In the past week or so we have seen price drops on the two most full-featured and well-stocked eReader devices on the market today, as well as the first exclusively WiFi adaptation of one of these devices at the lowest price seen to date. So, where does this leave the Kobo, the Borders-sponsored budget eReader that made such a stir over the past several months with its $150 asking price? The outlook is not so good.
By all accounts, and i make no claim to have the device in my hands at the moment to confirm, the Kobo eReader is a bit of a let-down for a lot of people. A decent screen, slightly slow response time, clunky menu navigation, and just generally unexciting experience. I won’t deny that the Bluetooth capability is intriguing, but they simply didn’t do much with it. Now that the Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) nook has dropped its price to match without sacrificing the reading and shopping experiences and Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) has followed suit with an even cheaper Kindle, it seems doubtful that the Kobo will find itself with much of a place aside from die-hard lovers of the Borders and Kobo bookstores. Even some of those may find themselves turning away, as the Kobo store, at least, offers their full collection in EPUB format. There are still moves to be made, but it would seem that the only major impact the Kobo eReader will have had will be to lower the eReader pricing trend enough to wipe itself out of the market.