Over the course of the last year, Japan has had a number major companies launch e-readers. Some new data has come in today that gives us a sense of market share and customer acceptance.
The Kindle accounted for 38.3% of the e-reader market in Japan in the 12-month period through March, according to market data firm MM Research, compared to a 33% share for Rakuten’s Kobo and a 25.5% share for Sony’s offerings.
MM Research said that the total e-reader market in Japan accounted for 470,000 units purchased in one year. The market is expected to increase to 520,000 devices sold through 2014. The data basically accounts for just E Ink reader sales and does not track multi-purpose tablets, such as the Kindle Fire or Kobo Arc.
Japan is still in its infancy when it comes to adopting e-readers as a primarily reading vehicle. The global e-reader market in 2012 is said to be 19,000,000 units, with the vast majority being sold in the US. Japanese readers are often employing smartphones and tablets for their manga and ebooks.
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.