Japan’s ebook Market

Source: Malaysian Insider, Jul 2012

OKYO, July 8 – In highly-literate and gadget-loving Japan, e-books are curiously rare – but battle for the largely-untapped and potentially hugely lucrative market is about to commence.

When e-commerce giant Rakuten unleashes its Kobo e-reader onto Japan later this month, it will fire the opening shots in the scrap for literary territory, hoping for a slice of the US$23.5 billion (RM74.58 billion) Japanese spend on books annually.

In the US, adult e-book sales surpassed those of hardback books for the first time in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Association of American Publishers, jumping 28 per cent year-on-year to US$282.3 million, compared to US$229.6 million for hardbacks, up 2.7 per cent.

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