Electronics giant Toshiba is ditching its e-book reader BookPlace MONO.

Japanese multinational Toshiba is reportedly doing away with its e-book readers before 2014. The firm has plans to discontinue the production of BookPlace MONO, its e-book reader, as its distribution will be transferred to another company.


This move comes in the face of the company’s failure to secure a stable market share and expand device utilization in competition with smartphones and tablets.

Toshiba is not the only company with plans to exit the e-book reader market; it is joined by Sony, as well as Panasonic. With Toshiba’s departure from the market, there is no Japanese electronics maker that is producing e-book readers.

In April 2013, the company had launched an e-book distribution website as a supplement to BookPlace MONO, however, in a span of 18 months it could not stand the fierce competition that was posed by not just smartphones and tablets, but also by dominant leaders of the market Amazon (Kindle) and Rakuten (Kobo) in Japan.

When Sony had launched its own e-reader devices in 2004, Japanese electronics makers were poised to be leaders in the said market. However, with the launch of Apple’s iPad in 2010, the entire supply-demand equation changed. 

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