Amazon has announced today that they are launching the Google Android and iOS versions of their reading apps in China. They have also are selling localized versions of eBooks in that country as well.
The Seattle company has been making in-roads in Asia for most of the year. They recently opened up shop in Japan and India. Penetrating one of the world’s largest markets could be seen as beating most other western based eBook retailers to the punch.
The launch of the Kindle Apps and eBook store is really setting the stage for the e-readers themselves to make a splash into the market. Many companies like Hanvon have been making low cost e-readers for many years, which allowed the industry to develop. It is realistic to think that the Kindle 4, and Kindle Fire tablets will make their way over first. Amazon received clearance for their 3G spectrum in China, so its viable their connected devices are poised to launch. The Kindle Paperwhite is suffering from massive supply chain issues and may make the way over until late in the first quarter of 2013. The e-Reader though as received an update to give it the ability to read simplified Chinese.
Amazon only a few weeks ago launched their eBook store in Brazil, and was the first market where they only released their digital presence and has yet to release the devices themselves. The online giant may be banking on hitting the market first with digital sales and may forgo selling the Kindle in China altogether. There is very high Android adoption rate in China, mainly attributed to the dirge of low-cost tablets.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten 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.