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Can Kobo compete with iPad and Kindle?

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(Read caption) Kobo previously released an e-reader in 2010, which was available through its partnership with defunct book chain Borders.

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A Canadian company is trying to shake up the American tablet wars – and it’s aiming to topple Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad to become the top e-reader in the world.

Toronto-based Kobo announced Thursday it is launching a new tablet and e-reader in the coming months as it seeks to expand its US market share and compete with Amazon and Apple, both of which are expected to unveil new tablets soon.

Though Kobo’s US market share in the e-book segment is currently in the “low single digits,” Kobo CEO Mike Serbenis said it’s aiming to capture more than 20 percent of US market share – and even more of the global market.

“Our overall objective is to be No. 1 in the world,” Serbenis told Reuters in an interview. “That may sound preposterous today, but it sounded a lot more preposterous two and a half years ago when we first started. We have proven that we can be No. 1, as we are here in Canada or in France. It is going to take some time, but we are in this for the long haul.”

In its battle for the US and the world, Kobo recently announced its weapons.

First up is the Kobo Arc, a 7-inch Android-based device with a high-def display and front-facing camera. The Arc will be available in November and will retail for $199 (8 gigabyte) and $249 (16 gigabyte).

Kobo is also launching the Kobo Mini, a pocket-sized 5-inch device with e-ink touchscreen, micro USB, and 2 gigabytes of storage. Available in October, the Mini is priced to match Amazon’s least expensive Kindle, at $79.

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