Amazon dominating Japan e-book rivals months after launch

A survey in Japan shows Amazon's Kindle Store is now over three times as popular as the book chain that led before its launch

Amazon.com's Kindle Store is dominating domestic rivals in Japan just months after its launch in October, according to a survey by a local research firm.

A full 40 percent of those polled are actively buying books via the Kindle e-book store, according to the data from Impress R&D, the research arm of a Japanese publishing house. That is three times the 13.4 percent who said they buy books from BookWeb, the online bookstore run by national book chain Kinokuniya.

Sony's Reader Store was next at 10.1 percent, followed by the e-book offering from online shopping mall Rakuten at 7.4 percent. Both Sony and Rakuten offer e-reader devices that compete with the Kindle, as well as apps for reading their titles on mobile phones and tablets.

Many observers in Japan feel that 2013 is the year that the domestic e-book market, which has lagged markets like the U.S., will take off. Impress predicts the market, which was ¥62.9 billion (US$720 million) in the year through March 2012, will over triple in the next five years.

The local press has reported that Apple will soon make its entry as well. The Nikkei business newspaper has said that the U.S. firm has reached agreements with major Japanese publishers and will launch a local version of its iBookstore as soon as this month.

The survey was taken among subscribers to a weekly magazine aimed at individuals connected to the electronic publishing industry, "OnDeck weekly." It took place from Dec. 17 to Dec. 20, about two months after the launch of the Kindle Store, and had 582 respondents.

Amazon, which is a household name in Japan, launched its Kindle Store in October and began taking orders for its Kindle Fire tablets as well as a Japanese-enabled version of its Kindle e-reader. The company began with less titles than rivals, but has emphasized its lineup of best sellers and well-known authors, as well as a large selection of manga, or Japanese comic book titles.

Less than a month after the launch Amazon cut the price on the Japanese Kindle by about 5 percent, before the device even began shipping, to about US$100, cheaper than its equivalent in the U.S. The new Kindle price exactly matched that of the "kobo glo" device announced by rival Rakuten a week prior.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags amazone-commerceinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?