Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been engaged in a fierce ebook battle with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS). In 2013, Apple is set to flank these competitors via an iBooks store in Japan.
According to reports, Apple has already inked deals with a number of Japanese publishers, including Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shogakukan. Moreover, iPad enjoys a 60 percent market share of the tablet computer market, so the 80,000 launch titles will find an immediate consumer-base for sales.
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Some analysts predict Japan’s ebook market will grow from about 70 billion yen to 200 billion yen in fiscal 2016. But Apple will face competition. Google is already in the market. Sony (NYSE:SNE), Panasonic, and Toshiba also have devices, but uptake has been lackluster. Lastly, in October 2012 “Amazon finally opened pre-orders for its first Japanese-language Kindle, the Paperwhite, and extended its Kindle Store into Japan with 50,000 titles. But both Amazon and Apple face stiff competition from Rakuten, Amazon’s local rival. Introduced in July, the Kobo eReader is priced inexpensively at about $100 USD and offers 2.5 million titles, including novels, essays, comics and exclusive content.”
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