If you find yourself shopping for a holiday gift in Tokyo later this year, you might spy a new gadget vying for your currency: Amazon’s Kindle.
According to the Nikkei, as reported by Reuters, Amazon is taking its e-reading devices to Japan next month. E-readers have reached mainstream status in the United States, with Amazon itself helping to drive forward their adoption and catalog diversity.
The company had been planning to launch the devices late this month, but that target has been pushed back. The report also stated that Amazon is working to collect Japanese-language content for the launch, an obvious task.
This news is not a surprise, as TNW reported as far back as June that Amazon intended to bring its line of hardware to the island nation. However, the timing itself is news; that the units will be out in time for the holiday sales cycle could lead to strong early adoption.
Not all players in the space have fared well in the country, however. TNW noted that retailer Rakuten had essentially botched the introduction of the Kobo Touch:
Shortly after the Kobo Touch went on sale, customers began complaining of software problems on both the desktop software and the device itself and poor content selection. The Digital Reader noted earlier this week (via TeleRead) that Rakuten had removed all the reviews for the product. A screenshot of the reviews before they were taken down showed the device had 483 one-star reviews and an average rating of 2.96 stars.
Amazon obviously hopes to avoid such embarrassment.
When we have official pricing and sales channel information, we will bring it to you. For now, prepare your credit card.