Thursday, September 5, 2013
New Kindle E-Book Reader To Hit Japanese Market In Oct
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Amazon Japan KK said Wednesday that it will roll out a new version of the Kindle Paperwhite e-book reader on Oct. 22, with the price going up 2,000 yen to 9,980 yen.
The upgraded model, equipped with processors that are 25% faster, will offer a clearer black-and-white contrast for easier reading and boast improved processing for touch-screen maneuvers. The storage capacity will increase from 2 gigabytes to 4GB.
According to MM Research Institute, e-book reader shipments rose 42.4% to 470,000 units in fiscal 2012, with Amazon's 38.3% share leading the market. The market is projected to expand to 520,000 units this fiscal year.
Eager to take on Amazon, Rakuten Inc. (4755) threw down the gauntlet in July by cutting the price of its Kobo Touch e-book reader by 20% to 5,480 yen. The company is expected to release an upgraded version offering better screen performance as early as this year.
Not to be outdone, Sony Corp. (6758) plans to expand as early as this fiscal year the scope of its e-book distribution service, currently limited to its own Reader device, to cover iPad tablets and other Apple Inc. products.
Toppan Printing Co. (7911) sells the BookLive!Reader Lideo through subsidiary BookLive Co., with more than 150 book stores offering the device as of the end of August.
Japan's e-book market, estimated at roughly 70 billion yen in fiscal 2012, is projected to more than triple to 240 billion yen in fiscal 2017.
(The Nikkei, Sept. 5 morning edition)