They are very sly about that in this press release:
KOBO ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY FOR TABLET COMPUTERS IN FEBRUARY 2010
Applications in Development for Windows 7, Android, and Additional Operating Systems
TORONTO, ON — January 22, 2010— With applications in development for Windows 7, Android and additional operating systems, Kobo, Inc. today announced that the service will be available for various tablet and slate computers in February 2010. Kobo (www.kobobooks.com) is a global eReading service that offers mobile applications on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm Pre, as well as support for netbooks and dedicated eReaders, like the Sony eReader. Kobo’s selection of popular books includes more than two million titles with content from major publishers including Random House, Harper Collins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Harlequin.
“This announcement is in line with our mission to deliver the best eReading experience on any device,” said Michael Serbinis, Chief Executive Officer of Kobo. “2010 is proving to be the year of the tablet and we are working with major OEMs to ensure that Kobo apps are made available on those devices. Tablets give Kobo an opportunity to deliver eBooks, newspapers, and magazines to readers on yet another screen that is well equipped for reading.”
Free Kobo applications for tablet computers will be available beginning February 2010. Kobo’s applications will provide support for Windows 7, Android, and other key operating systems. Running on these platforms, Kobo will remain in sync across various devices, allowing users to read on their iPhone then switch to their tablet and continue where they left off.
Core to Kobo’s strategy is making eReading available everywhere and on any device, and the company believes the tablet platform is a significant new form factor for eReading. Kobo aggressively supports open standards like ePUB format, which gives readers the flexibility to read on any device.
Boldfaced red emphasis added by me.
Kobo is being aggressive here, pre-empting whatever publisher announcements happen on Wednesday. Barnes & Noble can’t be happy. Nor Amazon.
But Kobo customers will be.
This is probably the smartest thing that Borders/Kobo can do at this point, instead of releasing yet another hardware device with a store tie-in. I’m sure they will release an E Ink device at some point but it will just get lost in the shuffle of look alike readers. Better to try and get out ahead on the content side than waste time and money to be an also-ran on the hardware side.