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WHSmith Takes On Amazon Kindle With Kobo Ebook Reader

The Kindle has been Amazon's most popular product yet and WHSmith apparently wants to emulate the success of its archrival by signing a deal with Canadian firm Kobo to sell two ebook readers for £89 and £110 respectively.

The deal will allow Kobo users to get access to more than 2.2 million paid for titles - three times more than Amazon's 750,000 titles - and more than one million free books as from next week.

The more expensive version is a touchscreen model while the cheaper one is not. Both come with Wi-Fi capabilities, a 6-inch screen and a storage capacity of 2000 books with an external card.

The Amazon Kindle also costs £89 but comes with a smaller storage capacity and weighs a tad less. The Kobo reader is powered by a Freescale SoC, is a mere 10mm thick, has a rated battery life of one month, comes with a USB port and is available in a number of colours.

The move comes as WHSmith saw its profits rise by four per cent and is looking to improve its margins at the expense of sales. The company is also following in the footsteps of Barnes and Noble who already have their own ebook reader called Nook and fellow rival Waterstones which also has its own ebook device.

As for Kobo, it already has five million customers globally and is the biggest ebook company in Canada and Australia.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.