Borders jumps into e-bookstore game
Borders Group launched an e-book store Wednesday with 1.5 million titles, coming somewhat late to the game but committed to grabbing a 17 percent market share in a year.
The company will compete most directly with Barnes & Noble, which already runs an e-book store and sells e-books over several devices, including its own Nook .
Borders and Barnes & Noble also come from the traditional brick-and-mortar bookstore world. Borders runs more than 670 stores in the U.S. and Barnes & Noble has 720 stores and manages another 637 college bookstores.
Amazon.com is the major e-book competitor for both Borders and Barnes & Noble, and already, the three are waging a pitched battle for the lowest-priced e-reader device with a 6-inch screen. Amazon’s Kindle is selling at $189 with 3G wireless connectivity, while the Barnes & Noble Nook, with 3G and Wi-Fi, sells for $199 , with a Wi-Fi only version priced at $149.
Borders recently introduced the Kobo e-reader for $149.99 with a 6-inch screen. The device uses Bluetooth wireless to connect to a smartphone or uses a USB port to connect to another device such as a desktop computer.
Borders CEO Mike Edwards contended that the race to be the best retail bookseller with e-books is “just starting,” a clear reference to Barnes & Noble, which entered the game last year and launched the Nook before Christmas. “During the past several months, we’ve been carefully crafting a digital strategy. … We believe we are well-positioned to come out strong and to ultimately claim about a 17 percent e-book market share by this time next year.”
Borders boasts some of the same attributes as Barnes & Noble, including providing customers the ability to buy e-books from a range of devices. In addition to the Kobo e-reader, Borders recently began selling the Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro for $119 as well as a Borders iPhone and iPad app. Wednesday, Borders said it will also support BlackBerry and Android e-readers.
The Borders’ e-reader software is provided by Kobo of Toronto, which in turn is backed by Indigo Books Music, Borders Group, RedGroup Retail and Cheung Kong Holdings.
Generic Company Place Holder Borders eBooks
Kobo eReaderMacworld Rating