Amazon makes Kindle push into Japan

U.S. online shopping giant will launch a Japanese-version of its new Paperwhite e-reader, with a Japanese Kindle store and smartphone app, in a bid to enter the country's e-book market.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Amazon will launch a Japanese-language version of its Kindle Paperwhite next month, along with a Japanese Kindle store and smartphone app, to break into the the country's e-book market.


The Japan-styled Kindle Paperwhite comes in Wi-Fi and 3G, the e-reader is expected to start shipment on Nov. 19, 2012, a press release by the company on Wednesday noted.The Wi-Fi only Paperwhite will be priced at 8,480 yen (US$107), while the 3G-equipped version will sell at 12,980 yen (US$163), both prices lower than on the U.S. Web site.

The new Kindle Fire HD display unveiled in the U.S. last month will also be released in Japan in December, the company added.

The U.S.-based online shopping giant also said it will begin selling 50,000 Japanese language titles in its Kindle Store on Amazon.co.jp from today, with more than 10,000 free Japanese titles and a wide selection of works from Japanese authors and publishers.

A Japanese-capable Kindle app will also be made available for computers, tablets and smartphones from today onward, the company said.

Japan's e-book market is largely untapped and starting to take off. For now, Sony has been in the market for 6 years, and is offering nearly 60,000 titles in its own e-book store for use with a proprietary device, a separate report on The Bookseller Web site noted. In July, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten also launched its Kobo e-reader in Japan, offering about 30,000 titles but aiming to grow the figure to 1.5 million over the comoing years.

Editorial standards