Apple launches iBookstore in Japan, goes up against Google, Amazon and Rakuten

ibookstore japanIt’s taken a while, but Apple has finally got its iBookstore up and running in Japan, bringing with it a large selection of e-books from major publishers in the country. There had been an iBookstore of sorts in operation in Japan before now, though it was only offering free and public domain titles.

Announcing the launch in a release, Apple promised a wide range of content from both emerging and established writers, including the likes of Shyotaro Ikenami, Jiro Akagawa, Atsuko Asano and Ryu Murakami.

Murukami, perhaps best known beyond Japanese shores for Audition (later adapted for the big screen by Takashi Miike), said in the release that as an Apple user for 20 years, he was “excited” by the tech giant’s news.

“As an author and Apple user for 20 years, the arrival of the iBookstore allows me to tell stories in a way you simply can’t in a physical book,” the writer said, referring to special features incorporated into his e-books, including I’ll Always Be With You, Always, which has interactive emails in each chapter. I’ll Always Be With You, Always is, incidentally, one of three Murakami books being offered exclusively by Apple’s iBookstore.

ibookstore manga

In Japan – population of 128 million – the iPhone and iPad are hugely popular devices, so the new market has the potential to be a massive money-spinner for Apple. Admittedly, it’s been a bit slow getting distibution deals sorted with publishers in the East Asian nation, with rivals Google, Amazon and local player Rakuten (with its Kobo tablets and e-book store) already having established a presence in the country with their various e-book/reader/tablet offerings.

Amazon’s Kindle bookstore and Paperwhite e-reader hit the Japanese market last October, with the cheapest model currently selling for 7,980 yen ($85), the same price as Rakuten’s Kobo Glo device. Rakuten also sells two other e-readers, both going for 6,980 yen ($75).

With the addition of Japan, Apple’s iBookstore is now operating in 51 countries, with e-books – both free and priced – offered across a wide range of categories, including novels, biographies, cooking, history, and children’s books. As you might expect, Japan’s iBookstore also includes a well-stocked manga section.


Apple Arcade reportedly supported by investments of more than $500 million

Apple Arcade will reportedly be supported by investments worth more than $500 million. Apple is also said to be offering incentives to developers if they decide to release their games as mobile exclusives for Apple Arcade.

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for April 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for April 2018.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Home Theater

Beats Powerbeats Pro: Everything you need to know about the earphones

Apple will release a fully wireless pair of earphones in May from its Beats brand. The Powerbeats Pro earphones have impressive features to compete with the AirPods, along with a litany of other options. Here's everything we know.

Apple's iOS 13 will reportedly offer a systemwide Dark Mode and windowed apps

iOS 12 was a relatively large update to Apple's iPhone, but iOS 13 could be even bigger. Rumors have begun circulating about what we should expect from iOS 13, which suggest a much more productive operating system for both iPhone and iPad.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for April 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Apple has a weird issue with its second-generation Pencil

Apple has a bizarre issue with its second-generation Pencil. The company says that if it's in charging mode and is positioned close to a car's key fob, interference can prevent the device from unlocking the vehicle.

Decluttr is offering a refurbished iPhone 6 for as little as $120

Decluttr announced a deal on its "good" condition iPhone 6. Through Decluttr, you can get the device for as little as $120, which is an excellent deal on the phone. The iPhone 6 may be a few generations old, but it's still a great device.

MacOS update may include external display support for iPads

Apple's upcoming MacOS is rumored to include a new native external display support feature. Code-named "Sidecar" the new feature is expected to allow MacOS computers to send app windows to external displays like iPads.

Apple’s MacBook laptop is on sale for just $800 for a limited time

If you have your heart set on a MacOS-powered laptop, B&H has a sale on Apple's MacBook that takes the price down to $800. Only select models are on sale right now, but you can score up to a $600 savings if you act quickly.

You've spent a grand, now don't skimp on a screen protector for your iPhone X

Wondering how to protect your new iPhone X against scratches and drops? Look no further than our list of the best iPhone X screen protectors, which includes screen protectors designed to reinforce your phone's front panel.

Apple and Qualcomm settle all disputes, reach six-year agreement on chips

Apple and Qualcomm have announced that they have settled all disputes between them around the world -- and not only that, but have also agreed to a six-year agreement for Qualcomm to supply Apple with chips.