Kobo dropping support for older BlackBerry smartphones

By Michelle Haag on 5 Nov 2011 03:09 pm EDT
Kobo for BlackBerry
In an email sent out to their customers yesterday, Kobo announced that their app will no longer be supporting BlackBerry smartphones running on an OS earlier than OS 6.0.

Dear Valued Customer,
We are constantly upgrading our apps to ensure we provide the best eReading experience. Go to the Blackberry App world today to download the latest version of the Kobo eReading app.
With this new enhancement, you may need to upgrade your Blackberry OS to 6.0 at http://www.blackberry.com/update/. Kobo will no longer be supporting apps used on earlier operating systems and we will not be able to guarantee that you can access all of your eBooks.
If you are operating an older Blackberry model and are unable to upgrade to the latest version, download the Kobo desktop app. You can be sure that all of your books will remain in your library, and you can keep reading seamlessly and effortlessly at any time.
We apologize for this inconvenience and as a loyal customer we would like to extend 25% off your next great read.
Use discount code bb25nov4US on these selected books. Expires: November 13th, 2011

To soften the blow that this may cause some users --such as those that don't have the option to upgrade to a newer OS-- Kobo is offering a 25% discount on their next purchase, but it looks like it is only valid on select titles. You can see the list at the link in the email above.

Michelle Haag Michelle Haag "@_Miche11e_ and C0001B3B5" 1214 (articles) 1695 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Kobo dropping support for older BlackBerry smartphones


Eventually you have to draw a line and discontinue older platforms. Does it upset some people, sure. But we are well into OS7 and OS6 has been around for a while, older devices are at the end of their life cycles. It is the way of things. It's like the switch from VHS to DVD then from DVD to Blu-Ray, once the majority of people adopt it, you have to put your efforts there, and live with a handful of upset customers who don't want to change.

We should be happy they are committed to developing for the Blackberry brand at all with the way things are going in the apps world these days.

maybe they can put the effort into making Kobo work properly on Playbook. Tired of it freezing up and losing bookmarks.

"We are constantly upgrading our apps to ensure we provide the best eReading experience..."

I can't remember the last time I saw an update for the Kobo app for BlackBerry, or for Playbook for that matter. Yet they continue putting out updates for iOS and Android devices, which have the Reading Life functionality. Sigh...

I totally agree. Kobo's support for the PlayBook is poor. I'm also very disappointed that Kobo does not allow side-loading on the PlayBook.

My guess is Kobo has not updated its PlayBook app for the same reason it is discontinuing support for older BlackBerry phones, no market or profit potential. No reason for any developer to pour time and resources into development for the 200,000 PlayBook users when there are millions of potential sales with iOS and Android.

I had reading for long periods on my Blackberry - I use Kobo on my Playbook and that's ok but Blackberry screens are too small IMO.

No big loss.

This is a load a crap as iv been in contact with kobo for weeks upon weeks trying to figure out this freezing and bookmark issue with no avail. They keep moving up the tiers but i cant seem to get a real solid solution.

Sigh, i just finished sending them another email with some of the posts within this thread and we shall see what comes of it...



This sounds unemotional, but this is a good step towards forcing BB to stay relevant. This could also be good news if we consider it as dropping one platform for another (BBX).

Verson 4.2 (the current version) was released in 2009, so I would rephrase that note to their valued customers to say that they are not supporting new BlackBerries.

You can't change the font size on 4.2 on the 9900. An e-reader that won't let you change the font size? Seriously? My e-reader on my 1990s Palm Pilot did that, changed colours, auto scrolled pages, and more.

I just went through a ton of CRAP with this app. I downloaded the "updated" old version, 4.2, I bought a book (big mistake) and couldn't even read it. Says you're able to change the font which is BS and I'm pissed! I don't think I've ever been so disappointed in an App. Now I had to get rid of it in order to keep my sanity. Garbage.

Exactly. It's all very well killing off apps with pre OS6 support, but while RIM are still distributing phones such as the Curve 8520 which still comes pre-loaded with OS 4.6 and can only be upgraded to 5.

I agree that you should support newer OS's - but I think it's RIMs failure that the phones don't support newer OS's. When these phones are designed, there should be *some* foresight into coming updates. If you buy a phone and cannot update it to a reasonable level, then it isn't great.

Case in point - most OS5 devices can't be upgraded to OS6. The ones that can suffer from a massive shortage of memory.

OS6 devices cannot be updated to OS7.

The APIs that developers are encouraged to use in the newer phones should be made available to the older ones in some way, even if you don't have the full experience of the new OS on new phones.

Of course, this is just my opinion as a consumer.

better than cutting development altogether (looking at you starbucks and your crap coffee) or not getting developed at all (looking at you ROVIO and your overrated game of angry birds)

I think kobo handled that well but I agree, we don't see nearly enough additions to this app like say foursquare.

since borders app was discontinued and forced to dl kobo app, has never worked well. cs hasn't done a thing except email me asking for the same info each time they escalate, then finally closing the case cause it's been open so long. great help, does anyone using os 6/7 have a better experience. i 'can' go from 5 to 6 on 9650, but havent really felt any incentive to do so. and kobo app isn't it...