Kobo is like the Rodney Dangerfield of ebookstores — they get no respect! Here they are, pumping out app after app for every smartphone platform, pushing the social envelope with “Reading Life”, created a touch-based ebook reader…yet they’re still an also-ran. As Nate over at The Digital Reader notes, Kobo never gets mentioned alongside B&N and Amazon, and his sources indicate Kobo has, at most, 5% of the ebook market.
Still, for a tiny presence Kobo has a big voice. They promote themselves heavily, so they often get coverage on blogs, but in my conversations with everyday people I’ve only had one person tell me they shop at Kobo, and it was mainly when they sent out coupons in the pre-Agency Model days. Note, she didn’t phrase it quite like that, more along the lines of “I usually buy books from B&N and Amazon on my iPad, but sometimes I check Kobo if there’s a good deal.”
Yet Kobo seems to remain the third fiddle in terms of sales and marketshare. So I’d like to unofficially poll our Gear Diary readers. Where do you shop for ebooks? Do you stick with B&N and Amazon, or do you branch out to iBooks and Kobo? And if you shop someplace other than B&N or Amazon, let us know in the comments what draws you to that store, along with whether you read on a tablet or an ebook reader. I recognize this is a very unscientific poll, but I’m curious how close our readers track to the broader reports.
Check back to Gear Diary in a week for the results!