A couple days ago I wrote a post on the Kobo Vox, and how I found it a disappointing Android tablet. After I concluded that Kobo couldn’t execute on hardware, I started thinking about what Kobo should do next.
Kobo already has a couple hardware partners, including a couple tablet makers as well as Southern Telecom, makers of the (disastrous) Sharper Image Literati. A number of the devices from the partners were crap, but there were lot of them. So why not add one more?
And that brings me to Sony.
Sony doesn’t have a track record as being all that much better at designing ereaders than Kobo, but with their new Android tablets and the Sony Reader Wifi, they could be turning that around. Sony could offer Kobo the cachet of the Sony name along with the better designers and engineers.
What would Sony get out of it? They wouldn’t have to run their own ebookstore anymore, and instead use the ebookstore run by company dedicated to growing it. That would also solve a question I’ve had since last October.
Here’s the question: Why is Sony supporting an ebookstore when they have perhaps 1% of the US ebook market? That just doesn’t strike me as being worth the time of a multinational corporation.Given that it’s not generating the profit that the corporate overlords want, wouldn’t it be better to focus on just the hardware and let someone else run the ebookstore?
That is where Kobo would come in. Kobo would sell the Sony Reader Wifi on site, take retailer’s cut, and Sony would redirect the on-device ebookstore to Kobo.
Is there a reason why this wouldn’t work? It seems like a great idea to me.