According to a new report by Nikkei, Apple is set to start selling Japanese e-books for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad in 2013.
As early as January, the iDevice maker will be expanding its iBookstore catalog to include around 80,000 Japanese language e-book titles. It will be selling e-books from several major Japanese publishers, including Kodansha Ltd., Shogakukan Inc., and Kadokawa Group Holdings Inc.
This new endeavor marks Apple’s entry into Japan’s e-book market. The market, which is currently valued at ¥70 billion and is projected to be worth ¥200 billion in the near future, has been occupied by Google, Amazon, and Kobo.
At the moment, Apple offers only free e-books in the Japanese iBookstore. But once its arrangement with its partner publishers comes into effect, paid e-books and perhaps e-textbooks are going to be made available as well.
The company is said to command as much as 60 percent of the Japanese tablet market with its bestselling iPad. If nothing else, this figure augurs well for Apple’s better-late-then-never arrival in the Japanese e-bookselling scene.