Kobo launched in Dec 2009 as a division within indigo books. They later spun off and have operated as their own company. That doesn’t mean Indigo is no longer part of the picture, as a matter of fact they plan to launch the Kobo eReader Saturday May 1 across Canada. Borders in the USA is expected to also carry the eReader, but that is about a month away.
Since the beginning, Kobo was a platform. The eReader hardware only came in to the picture later on, as a way to affordably introduce people interested in the technology. Kobo eReader is already available for the Apple iPad, and they intend to release their app for other platforms like Android. Eventually making themselves known as an eReader OS for third-party devices sometime this summer.