FCC reports suggest that Kobo is coming out with at least one and possibly two new models of reader, apparently to be called the Kobo Aura One. It may be a few weeks before we know too many details, given that FCC filings aren’t exactly very informative, but the most interesting tidbit is that one of the new models is projected to have a 7.8” screen—a bit bigger than the 6” to 7” screens currently in vogue among most e-ink readers. The other gets a standard 6” screen. Apart from that, both have 1,200 mAh batteries, micro-USB, and WiFi, but no indication of card slots or other ports. The readers will be made by Netronix, the same OEM who’s made all Kobo’s prior e-readers.
Will there be two different models of Kobo One? Are they just testing both models while they decide which one to go with? What other features might they have? For that matter, what will their price point be? No one expected Amazon to go quite so expensive with the Oasis until it finally launched.
At the moment, the biggest (and most expensive) Kobo is the Aura H2O, which has a 6.8” screen and runs $180. If this one’s even bigger than that, might it be even more expensive? Will it be waterproof, too?
Whatever they end up looking like or costing, it seems doubtful these new e-readers will be able to do much to shake the grip Amazon has on e-ink readers in the United States market. However, Kobo has a broad international presence and presumably these new readers will stand it in good stead there.