Apple will open a new ebook service in Japan soon, according to a report published in the Nikkei financial publication. To make the venture possible, the Cupertino company has teamed up with local publishers such as Kadokawa, Kodansha, and Shogakukan, among others. The iBookstore will offer 80,000 ebook titles, all sourced locally. The ebookstore is speculated to be scheduled for opening later this January, but this remains to be confirmed by Apple.
Apple would have to compete with the other companies that have put up ebookstores ahead of it, including Kobo, Amazon, and Google. However, Apple is deemed to have an edge due to the fact that the iPad enjoys 60 a percent market share as compared to other tablets.
Amazon’s entry into the market happened during October last year, when the company started taking pre-orders for a Kindle ereader called Paperwhite that supports the Japanese language. The product offering led Amazon to introduce 50,000 ebook titles via the Kindle Store.
Amazon, however, has had to compete with Rakuten, a local company that is behind the Kobo eReader. Said company, for its part, has 2.5 million titles from a wide range of genres like comics, novels, and essays.
According to The Digital Reader, this battle among ebookstores will likely encourage the growth of the ebook market in Japan. At present, the market is estimated to have a value of 70 billion yen, but this could increase to as much as 200 billion yen in 2016.
Meanwhile, the ebookstore competition has been growing in other parts of the world, as well. In Brazil, for example, Kobo, Amazon, and Apple have already opened up their ebookstores. In India and Japan, however, the only ebookstore company available is Amazon. The Digital Reader surmises that Russia could be another country where multiple ebookstores, possibly Barnes & Noble and Amazon, will be competing in the near future.