Japanese citizens buy the most e-books per capita

By Chris Meadows
August 4, 2015 // 2 Comments

Update: Nate’s questioning BI’s numbers. He could be right. A recent piece in Business Insider reports that Japanese consumers are crazy about their e-books. On average, they spend nearly twice as much on e-books per capita as the average US user ($86.50 vs $46). Indeed, the US is only [...]

Rakuten insists hidden reviews were of premature version of Kobo Touch service

By libertyc
July 27, 2012 // 0 Comments

On The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder discusses Rakuten’s response to those who noticed it has chosen to hide all consumer reviews of its Kobo Touch e-reader from Japan. Rakuten claims that a version of its site and service leaked before the actual launch date, so the reviews were of a product [...]

Rakuten removes all Japanese customer reviews of Kobo Touch from its website

By libertyc
July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Over at The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder has coverage of the Kobo Touch’s launch in Japan, which seems to have turned into something of a debacle. Bad reviews of the device were posted so prevalently to Rakuten’s website that it finally removed all reviews, both good and bad, from its site. [...]

A war against Amazon in Japan

By Paul Biba
July 12, 2012 // 0 Comments

From an article by Robin Birtle in Publishing Perspectives: TOKYO: The keynote panel discussion at Tokyo’s E-Book Expo, as part of the Tokyo Book Fair last week, wasn’t expected to get the pulses racing despite the presence of Mikitani-san, whose company Rakuten has acquired Kobo, and Noma-san, [...]

Here's the official Kobo announcement about their entry into the Japanese market

By Paul Biba
July 2, 2012 // 1 Comment

From the press release: Kobo Inc., a global leader in eReading, today announced that it will launch its full eReading service in Japan on July 19. The company’s award-winning Kobo Touch™ eReader will be offered to Japanese consumers for ¥7,980 including tax (or $100 USD). Starting today July [...]

Rakuten (Kobo) to sell ereader in Japan; beats Amazon

By Paul Biba
June 27, 2012 // 0 Comments

From The Asahi Shimbun: Rakuten Inc., Japan’s top online retailer, will release its own e-book reader in late July, marking its full-fledged entry into the e-book market. Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten chairman and CEO, said the company plans to price the Kobo Touch reader at around 10,000 yen [...]

Kobo seeks to beat Amazon to Japanese marketplace with Kobo Touch

By libertyc
June 23, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Japanese paper Asahi Shimbun reports that Rakuten, the Japanese company that bought Canadian outfit Kobo, is going to try to beat Amazon to market in Japan by introducing the Kobo Touch there in July before Amazon is able to bring out its Kindle Touch there later this year. "As a Japanese [...]

Kobo-owner Rakuten to sell Japanese e-books to Japanese consumers from Toronto

By libertyc
June 11, 2012 // 2 Comments

Remember the stories about how Amazon bases its European e-book operations in Luxembourg to avoid having to pay the huge VAT (Value-Added Tax) surcharges that would come from selling e-books out of England? The Bookseller reports this strategy might also make it “big in Japan”. Or, rather, big [...]

Kobo could be Amazon’s only major international competitor

By libertyc
January 25, 2012 // 4 Comments

On Wired’s Epicenter blog, Tim Carmody writes about why he thinks that the main global e-book competitor Amazon has to worry about is Kobo. He points out that while Amazon and Apple have been making highly visible splashes with their new hardware or e-publishing initiatives, Kobo has quietly been [...]

Rakuten completes purchase of Kobo

By libertyc
January 11, 2012 // 1 Comment

Engadget has the press release from Kobo on the completion of its purchase by e-commerce company Rakuten. Kobo’s HQ will remain in Toronto, though Rakuten is based in Japan. Given that Rakuten owns a lot of popular e-commerce and other industry sites already (including e-tailer Buy.com), it has [...]

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