ACCESS’ EPUB 3-compatible viewer offers rich eBook experiences on“kobo Touch”, Android™ smartphones, tablets, Windows PCs

Tokyo, Japan, July 2, 2012 - ACCESS CO., LTD. a global provider of advanced software technologies to the mobile, beyond-PC and digital TV markets, today announced that its EPUB 3-compatible eBook viewer, NetFront™ BookReader v1.0 EPUB Edition, has been adopted as a standard viewer engine for EPUB 3-compatible services by Kobo Inc. a global leader in eReading, and a subsidiary of Rakuten, Inc, one of Japan’s largest Internet service companies.

Kobo’s rapidly expanding eReading business, offers over 2.5 million titles in its eBookstore, and includes its own line of award winning eReading devices – including the “kobo Touch eReader” and free top rated eReading applications. Under its “Read Freely” philosophy, Kobo’s eBooks can be read on smartphones, tablets, and PCs, and support multiple languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. Following its merger with Rakuten in January 2012, Kobo is aiming to expand its market share, and is now preparing to launch  the Kobo eReading solution in Japan by implementing the NetFront BookReader v1.0 EPUB Edition, as a standard viewer engine for EPUB 3-compatible services, which can accurately reproduce complex Japanese characters and page layouts.

NetFront BookReader v1.0 EPUB Edition is a multi-platform eBook viewer incorporating the technological capabilities and expertise of ACCESS mobile software, which has been deployed in more than one billion devices worldwide. NetFront BookReader v1.0 EPUB Edition, which supports EPUB 3 in addition to EPUB 2.0.1, reproduces complex page layouts and Japanese characters, including vertical layouts and logographic kanji characters by incorporating furigana annotation, which was not possible through the conventional EPUB standard. The viewer is based on the WebKit browser engine and supports a wide range of HTML5 content. Advanced technologies developed by ACCESS ensure enhanced portability and stable performance even in limited memory environments. NetFront BookReader v1.0 EPUB Edition enables users to enjoy rich eBook content including novels, comics, and magazines embedded with next-generation video, audio and complex Japanese characters through smartphones, tablets or dedicated eBook devices.

In addition to licensing NetFront BookReader v1.0 EPUB Edition for the kobo Touch, ACCESS, as a content aggregator, will provide the viewer engine for EPUB 3 compatible apps. This will be provided for kobo Touch, Android smartphones, tablets, and Windows PC devices based on the NetFront BookReader v1.0 EPUB Edition. Kobo plans steadily to increase its catalogue in cooperation with ACCESS.

“I am excited that we will launch our company’s eBook service in the Japanese market,” said Dan Galperin, VP, Research and Development of Kobo. “With ACCESS’ EPUB 3-compatible viewer technology which reproduces complex Japanese characters and vertical layouts brilliantly, I am confident that our high-quality service will satisfy Japanese customers’ high expectations. Through ongoing technology cooperation with ACCESS, we look forward to expanding the functions and various services of our kobo Touch, as well as upgrading our eBook catalogue to improve our services for customers.”
“ACCESS is extremely honored that the EPUB 3-compatible viewer NetFront BookReader v1.0 EPUB Edition has been adopted by Kobo, a respected eReading service provider and member of Rakuten’s global family,” said Nobuya Murofushi, President and CEO of ACCESS. “We will support the expansion of Kobo’s services with our software technologies and content-aggregation expertise, aiming to provide users with a rich and satisfying EPUB-compatible eBook reading environment.”

About KOBO, INC.
Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s fastest-growing eReading services offering more than 2.5 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers– and counting. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo has built an open-standards platform to provide consumers with a choice when reading. Inspired by a “Read Freely” philosophy and a passion for innovation, Kobo has expanded to nearly 200 countries, where millions of consumers have access to localized eBook catalogues and award-winning eReaders, like the Kobo Touch. With top-ranked eReading applications for Apple, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows products, Kobo allows consumers to make eReading social through Facebook Timeline and Reading Life, an industry-first social experience that lets users earn awards for time spent reading and encouraging others to join in. Headquartered in Toronto and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten, Kobo eReaders can be found in major retail chains across the globe. For more information, visit www.kobo.com.

About ACCESS 
ACCESS CO., LTD. is a global provider of advanced software solutions and services that enable operators, device manufacturers, content owners and consumers to make the most of today’s multi-screen, connected world. It provides software for mobiles, smartphones and tablets, connected TVs and set-top boxes in the connected home, automotive, digital publishing and networking markets. ACCESS solutions have shipped in over one billion devices around the world. Its product portfolio includes theNetFront™ Software Series and the ZebOS® network platform, providing customers faster time-to-market, flexibility and customizability; the ACCESS™ Digital Publishing Ecosystem for cloud-based, cross-platform digital publishing and the NetAd mobile advertising platform. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Mothers’ Index, 4813) and operates subsidiaries and affiliates in Asia, Europe and the United States. www.access-company.com.

© 2012 ACCESS CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
ACCESS, the ACCESS logo, and NetFront are registered trademarks or trademarks of ACCESS CO., LTD. in the United States, Japan and/or other countries. Android is a registered trademark of Google Inc. ZebOS is either a registered trademark or trademark of IP Infusion Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. BlackBerry® is a registered trademark of names and logos are the property of Research In Motion Limited. iPad and iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks, logos and trade names mentioned in the document are the property of their respective owners.