Kobo Inc has just told us that it has exceeded 2012 market forecasts, doubling device sales and attracting 4 million new customers within the last six months to bring its total to 12 million registered users. Contradicting forecasts claiming eReader sales would decline in 2012, Kobo’s E Ink eReader sales were up nearly 150 percent in December, helping the company to carve out 20 percent of the global eReader market [source: DigiTimes ].
The average Kobo customer bought more eBooks in 2012 – nearly 20 percent more per customer – than in 2011.
English was the most common language read, followed by French and Japanese. People in Canada read the most on Christmas Day – with an average of 200 pages each – while Americans read 160 pages and the British read 93 pages. The most popular genre at Kobo is Romance. Canadians – perhaps as a result of their cold winters – top the charts as romantic fiction fans.
In 2012, Kobo launched three E Ink eReaders – the Kobo Touch, the Kobo Mini, and the Kobo Glo – and its new 7″ Google-certified Android tablet, the Kobo Arc.
“We are seeing tremendous international opportunity to bring eReading to new markets, and help transform the industry through technology innovation,” said Wayne White, EVP and GM of Devices, Kobo. “The transition from print to digital, the evolution of devices, the application of technologies, and the market adoption of eReading around world is in its infancy. Kobo’s trajectory of growth reinforces that people want to read more – and on a variety of devices.”
Offering 3.2 million titles across 68 languages Kobo’s English catalogue doubled in 2012. Kobo grew its Manga, comics, graphic novels, and illustrated non-fiction titles by 1900 percent in 2012.
Since the launch of its self-publishing platform Kobo Writing Life in July 2012, Kobo has signed up ten-thousand authors from 96 countries who have published more than 60,000 titles across 40 languages.
Kobo will, it says, look for Kobo to continue its global expansion, becoming active in Russia, India and China to name a few. New E Ink and tablet eReaders will join the Kobo Family and the company will continue to work with publishers and authors to introduce a range of new content categories for consumers.