In a country like Japan where the people are highly literate and gadget loving, e-books are curiously rare. But the battle for potentially hugely lucrative market is about to begin. E-commerce giant Rakuten is about to unveil its Kobo e-reader in the Japan market this month.
This will be a boon for the literary territory in the country where the Japanese spend about $23.5 billion on books annually. Kobo is expected to be joined later this year by a Japanese version of the Kindle.
Kindle is Amazon’s world leading e-reader. The e-reader is expected to be priced at $100 which is line with the Amazon’s offering in the US. With the similar prices, the firms will be looking forward to lock the customers in to their format with their eyes on the content prize.
Hiroshi Mikitani, the Rakuten chief on July 2, 2012 said, “I want to start the reading revolution in Japan and in the world with Kobo”. Teh Rakuten chief while announcing July 19 as the launch added, “Kobo is a global device, a global platform, which allows anyone in the world to enjoy a variety of content.” In Japan only a limited number of novels and non-fiction titles have been digitalized.