During the iPad Mini event last year, Apple announced native Asian language support would be coming to iBooks. Now iOS fans in Japan can take more advantage of this native support as the iBookstore has made its way over to the island nation.
Apple announced this morning that the iBookstore has officially launched in Japan. Much like the launch of the Kindle Store in Japan, Apple is touting a number of exclusive titles in hopes that customers will choose their store over the competition.
We’re excited to launch the iBookstore in Japan with a wide selection of Japanese publishers and authors,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We think customers are going to love how engaging and interactive the books are to read, and how beautiful they look on iPad.”
The biggest grab for the iBookstore is a collection of digital novels from Ryu Murakami. The novels contain experimental ways to tell stories in a digital format, including the addition of interactive emails in each chapter.
Children’s books, like the charming Piyo-Chan: A Letter for Piyo, have been updated on the iBookstore as well to include new interactive and visual elements.
Apple’s real win against Apple, however, comes in the form of its exclusive selection of digital manga. The company announced that a full color version of Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 is exclusively available on the iBookstore.
With this news, expect Amazon to kick its Japanese Kindle business up a notch. There are a lot of readers in Japan, and securing exclusive titles is the way to win in that particular market. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the winner will be whomever is able to secure Murakami Haruki’s next novel, which is set to be published next month.