Japan reportedly getting Apple iBookstore starting in January

Several publishers already lined up

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On Monday, a new Nikkei report stated Apple would be expanding its iBookstore to Japan, joining the likes of Amazon, Kobo, and Google.

Though an exact date wasn't given, Apple has reportedly garnered the support of publishers like Kadokawa, Kodansha, and Shogakukan among others to provide ebooks in Japan as early as January.

Nikkei also indicated Japanese readers would be able to find more than 80,000 titles at launch from local publishers alone.

Despite iBooks launching alongside the iPad in Japan in 2010, Apple had previously been unable to actually sell any ebooks through the app.

Welcome to the party, Apple

Apple is the fourth provider to sell ebooks in Japan, which means the company will have some ground to make up on its rivals whenever the iBookstore does launch.

Fortunately for Apple, the company is responsible for 60 percent of the tablet market in Japan, giving them a bit of a leg up when it comes to the install base awaiting the service.

With so many competitors vying for domination of the ebook landscape in Japan, the industry is expected to grow to exceed some 200 billion yen (US$2.3B,UK£1.42B, AUD$2.23B) over the course of the next couple of years.

Currently, the ebook market is estimated to be worth about 70 billion yen (US$807M, UK£497M, AUD$773M) in revenue combined.

Via The Digital Reader