Kobo Enters U.S. Tablet Wars, to Sell Vox at Best Buy

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By Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid

Joining the iPad, Kindle Fire and others, Kobo will sell its Vox tablet in bricks-and-mortar retail stores in the U.S.

The Vox, a seven-inch full-color tablet computer running Google Android, will join Kobo e-reader products on the shelves of major U.S. retailer Best Buy, the company announced today.

Toronto-based Kobo debuted the Vox in the U.S. in late October. Though it shipped nearly two weeks before its biggest competitor, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, it was dogged by user complaints on Twitter and elsewhere.

In November, Kobo was acquired by Japanese firm, Rakuten, a company Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis called “the Amazon of Japan.” In an interview with Digital Book World, Serbinis hinted that the Vox would become for Rakuten what the Fire is for Amazon: an entire retail store in the hands of consumers.

Best Buy had 1,105 stores in the U.S. at the end of the company’s third quarter 2012, ending November 26 2011, according to its latest SEC quarterly filing. In addition to the Vox, Best Buy also sells Apple’s iPad, the Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color and others.

Write to Jeremy Greenfield

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