High street retailer WHSmith has today announced the launch of its latest e-reader, a fully featured colour Wi-Fi offering.
The new Kobo Vox, which costs £169.99, has a seven-inch anti-glare screen with video and audio technology allowing users to listen to music, play games and watch videos.
Last month, the retailer unveiled the Kobo Touch, aimed at boosting sales and providing competition to Amazon’s market leading Kindle series.
While its predecessor was the first widely available touch screen e-reader in the UK, the Kobo Vox boasts extra features, including a number of social media tools as Kobo is the only official partner of social networking site Facebook. As such, Kobo Pulse connects users reading the same books so that book reviews and comments can be shared in real-time.
Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo Inc., said that these features give the latest gadget an edge on competitors .
“As part of our mission to inspire people to spend more time reading, we’ve made reading with Vox a truly social experience – we’re excited Kobo is the first e-reading platform to be integrated with Facebook Ticker and Timeline, to enable further reading discovery and entertainment enabling us to take e-reading to the next level,” he added.
With a memory that enables access to 2.2 million e-books, including one million free titles, the device is available in over 650 WHSmith stores as well as online from today, in time for the Christmas rush.
In September, pure-play e-tailer Amazon launched a tablet device to rival Apple’s iPad as it seeks to maintain its stronghold in the e-reader market. Voted the top UK online shop in a survey announced yesterday, Amazon is stiff competition for WHSmith, which recently announced a six per cent year-on-year decline in like-for-like sales for its first quarter period.
It is hoped that tech-savvy consumers will be enticed to purchase the latest offering and boost sales over the festive season.
Rachel Russell, Business Unit Director of Books atWHSmith, said: “We’re really pleased with the way customers have responded to the Kobo e-readers and accessories in our stores and we’re delighted to be the first UK retailer to offer customers a product as innovative as the new Kobo Vox.”