I don’t think anyone is majorly surprised by this. Actually, I don’t think anyone would be majorly surprised at anything that happens within the publishing industry these days. It’s changing daily, and unfortunately not enough people were smart enough to predict and plan for these changes. And this is one time I don’t think we can blame it on the economy. This was a combination of greed, denial, arrogance, and absolute ignorance on so many levels it would be hard to point the finger in any direction.
However, Kobo claims they are financially secure and people who own Kobo e-readers are safe. Even though Borders has a small share in Kobo, it has nothing to do with how Kobo operates. If anything I can’t help wondering whether or not Kobo will wind up helping Borders out of their financial problems, by restructuring the business toward more realistic goals and letting go of old traditions that haven’t been getting them anywhere. Here’s a great link that goes into more depth, with even more links.
And here’s something I picked up at I Love My Kindle, which explains it in simple terms.
People with Kobo EBRs (E-Book Readers) would be okay. Kobo is a separate entity, although they have an association with Borders. I don’t think they’d be a part of any kind of liquidation. Kobo owners would lose a source of books for their devices, but that wouldn’t end the usefulness of the devices.
I love my Kobo and I’m not worried. My romance novels are still being sold at Borders.com as e-books, and I’m not worried about that either. On this link, I read, With the likelihood of fewer stores selling the Kobo e-reader (Borders and Walmart are the key retail locations for the Kobo e-reader), and the possibility of customers being spooked by buying e-books from a troubled retailer, the troubles at Borders definitely have the potential to impact Kobo. But I don’t personally believe this because I see Kobo e-readers everywhere. I actually discovered mine at a local CVS Drugstore. In this case, it’s a classic example of beware what you read in the internet because it’s usually based on limited research.
In any event, Kobo is still the easiest e-reader to use on the market, it’s still the most inexpensive, and it still has all the qualities people who aren’t completely into e-reading desire. And like I said, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Kobo wound up as Border’s biggest hit in the future. But then again, nothing in publishing would surprise me these days.