Rakuten Inc., Japan’s largest e-commerce vendor, and third-largest in the world, has announced that since pre-orders began on July 2nd for the highly anticipated Kobo Touch e-reader, it has quickly shot up to become the best-selling product on the country’s internet shopping mall. That puts it above the more than 100,000,000 other products for sale on Rakuten. Mike Serbinis, the CEO of Canada’s Kobo Inc., has said they are more than excited at the response, and look forward to delivering a great consumer experience to the people of Japan.
Pre-orders are still being accepted at Rakuten’s Kobo store online, and the e-reader officially goes on sale on July 19th, at a price of 7,980 yen (approx. $100). The device comes fully localized for Japan, with the Japanese text displayed vertically, just as in a regular printed book. Similar to the Kindle and Amazon’s service in the U.S., readers will be able to shop and purchase books from Rakuten’s network right on the e-reader, with more than 2.4 million titles to choose from.
Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten, which actually purchased Kobo Inc. in January of this year, says that bringing the Kobo Touch, the world’s best e-reader, to the Japanese market, and pairing with the country’s best e-commerce network will give customers the best reading experience possible. Kobo adds Japan to its world-wide dominance of countries like Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. With the Kobo Touch’s low price and head start in sales, it is sure to provide some major competition for Amazon when they release their Kindle in Japan sometime later this year.[Via Seattle PI]