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Kobo Touch, Kobo eBookstore Launches Tomorrow in Italy

A reader has just tipped me to a tweet from the official Mondadori account. As you probably recall, this publisher and bookseller is Kobo’s retail and ebookstore partner in Italy, so when they say something like this:

It’s big news.

For those not equipped with Google translate, the above tweet says that starting tomorrow the Kobo eReader will be available in Mondadori stores (350  of them) as well as on the website. My source has checked with a couple stores in Milan and Padua and the store clerks confirm that they’ll have the hardware in tomorrow.

What’s more, the official press release has been released, though it doesn’t seem to add any more details. But my other sources with Mondadori have told me that the new Kobo ebookstore will stock 60 thousand Italian language titles, with a reported 3 million total titles available in all languages.

This news of course only applies to the 99€ Kobo Touch, not the still-unreleased Kobo Glo or Kobo Mini. Those won’t be coming until mid-October, when they are expected to sell for 129€ (Kobo Glo) and 79€ (Kobo Mini).

Kobo announced this partnership in July of 2012, just under 3 months ago.  This ebookstore, which they had been planning to launch last fall, is going to face stiff competition. Google launched an Italian ebookstore in June and Amazon launched a local Kindle Store there way the hell back in December of 2011. Basically Amazon has had nearly a year to run wild in Italy without anyone hampering their efforts; I’m looking forward to seeing what Kobo does to compensate for Amazon’s lead.

Thanks, Luca!

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cookie October 1, 2012 um 10:38 am

So, presumably it will have an Italian dictionary installed. Why are they only able to offer an English dictionary here in the states or Canada? In other words, why can’t I read a book in Italian that I sideloaded and switch to an Italian dictionary in the system defaults. Maybe you can, but I don’t think so.

Andrea F October 1, 2012 um 11:11 am

In Italy people is not accustomed to buy book and stuff in the virtual market, brick and mortar stores are preferred. Infact, a poorly built reader as the Bookeen odyssey sold a lot, in virtue of its presence in "Feltrinelli" B&M libraries. I bet kobo will be a success.

Stefano October 2, 2012 um 11:34 am

Andrea, you didn’t realize that Bookeen sold their ereaders before Amazon opened Secondly, why Mondadori should succeed whereas IBS failed?

Kobo s’installe en Italie October 2, 2012 um 3:58 am

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