Over in Japan, e-readers aren’t exactly new to the market and with Amazon’s introduction of their first Japanese language e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, it certainly looks like Amazon is late to the game. Perhaps in an effort to make up for lost time, reports have indicated that the Kindle Paperwhite device for the Japanese market will be priced less than its US counterpart and will be sold for roughly $100. For those unfamiliar, the Kindle Paperwhite in the US is going for $120 for the standard version, while the ad-free version is priced at $140, a move which we’re sure will annoy some of Amazon’s US customers.
However this move was a strategic one as by lowering the price of its Kindle Paperwhite, it puts it within the same price range as its competitors, namely the Kobo e-reader sold by Japanese retailer, Rakuten. We have to wonder if this price cut will make it a more competitive device, especially since rivals such as Rakuten and Sony have long established themselves in the Japanese e-reader market, with Rakuten promising 200,000 titles by the end of the year, while Amazon launched with only 50,000 for its Japanese e-book store.