Apple’s iBookstore is a convenient app that houses the digital books available for the iPad and iPhone on Apple’s iBooks app. Japan has had iBooks since 2010, but has failed to make a market in the country due to failed contract negotiations. Currently, the iBooks catalog is full of public domain ebooks and little else. According to Japanese language news site Nikkei, that will change this year. Apple has finally made an impression and will bring the iBookstore to Japan sometime this year.
According Nikkei, Kodansha, Shogakukan and Kadokawa are three major publishers that Apple is in talks with. The meetings are said to be “going well,” and an agreement is expected as soon as this month.
However, AllThingsD is reporting that unnamed sources familiar with the issue has stated that the iBookstore is not likely to make it to Japan in January.
“‘Later this month,’ we’re told, is far too optimistic a date for launch. Remember, the Japanese e-book market is a notoriously difficult one to break into, and this is essentially Apple’s second attempt at it. When the company first brought iBooks to Japan, back in 2010, it failed to negotiate the necessary deals with Japanese publishers. So its virtual shelves ended up being filled entirely with public domain content, and have remained that way ever since.”
Apple has more than 80,000 titles lined up from local publishers. The iPad is very popular in Japan with 60 percent of sales coming from that country. Even though Google and Amazon have already made their ebook mark in Japan, Apple’s hardware dominance will surely boost sales of iBooks.
[Via: The Digital Reader]