Japan’s Nikkei business daily has reported that U.S. based Amazon is just about ready to finally bring its renown Kindle e-reader to the Japanese market next month. Amazon, the largest internet retailer in the world, originally planned to release the device last week, but due to supply difficulties it was pushed back, now believed to be arriving as soon as early October. While this summer saw the debut of the $99 Kobo Touch e-reader, from domestic rival Rakuten, Amazon looks to take advantage of some of that device’s launch mistakes.
Amazon is also using its last amount of time to secure additional content for the Japanese launch. They are also reportedly contacting publishers and asking them to make changes to data formats, something that has the potential to delay the Kindle’s release even further. Announced as early as June of this year, Amazon has hit several speed-bumps in trying to get the Kindle out, mostly along the lines of trying to get publishers to sign up and offer up their titles. Japan is famously known as being a somewhat “closed market” where it can be very difficult for companies from outside to repeat the success they’ve found elsewhere.
While the Japanese company Rakuten managed to get all the publishers on board, and were widely expected to be the main competition for Amazon, the launch of their Kobo Touch e-reader was filled with problems. While the Kobo Touch went on sale on time, customers were immediately displeased with the software and its glitches. While things seem to have smoothed out, the device was hit with hundreds of one-star reviews from customers, and even now struggles with a low average rating.