The Digital Reader is reporting that Apple plans to enter the Japanese ebook market later this month, a market they have struggled with in the past.
Apple will reportedly have a selection of over 80,000 titles available for launch, fueled by the deals they have signed with local Japanese publishers such as Kodansha, Shogakukan and Kadokawa. This is big news for the Cupertino based company as Apple had previously attempted to launch a Japanese ebook store back at the release of the original iPad, but this venture was cut short due to negotiation problems with the Japanese publishers.
Now that Apple is finding its way into the Japanese market, they will have a significant advantage over their competitors thanks to the iPad’s popularity within the country. The iPad holds roughly 60 percent of the tablet market share in Japan and with tablets being one of the most popular choices for ebook reading, this is a huge advantage.
The Japanese ebook market has always been a tough one to get into. This is mainly due to problems with adapting software to support Japanese characters and vertical text as well as issues signing deals with the country’s publishers. Ebook giant Amazon didn’t begin taking pre-orders for its very first Japanese Kindle until this past October.
The Japanese publishing industry pulled in $22.5 billion in revenue during 2011 with this number expected to grow significantly over the next few years thanks in part to new companies like Apple entering the market.