Apple intends on launching its iBookstore in Japan very soon. Within a month, customers will be able to purchase ebooks directly on their iPad devices. This is good news for customers, because Apple iPads account for over 60% of all tablet usage in Japan.
The iBooks ecosystem plans to launch with over 80,000 titles from Japanese publishers, including Kodansha, Shogakukan, and Kadokawa. There will also be graphic novels and manga content available for purchase. During the last big Apple launch, the company gushed about the Korean, Chinese, and Japanese support.
The Japanese e-reader market is one of the most fickle ones on the planet to crack. Kobo, Amazon, and Sony all are trying to carve their niche, to various degrees of success. Smartphone usage is the most prevalent forum of reading and devices like the Kindle, Kobo, and Sony PRS-T2 have failed to catch on. Right now, Kobo has the largest advantage with over 2.5 million ebooks and the most manga/graphic novels out of all the major digital retailers.
Want to learn about the history of the Japanese ebook market? Check out our past Feature on it.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.