Sony to return to Japan e-reader market in December

TOKYO, Nov 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Sony Corp (6758.T: ) (SME.N: ) will
re-enter Japan’s electronic book market and open an online
bookstore offering 20,000 titles, almost all in Japanese, in time
for the year-end shopping rush, it said on Thursday.

Sony’s Reader ebook goes on sale on Dec. 10 at about 20,000
yen ($240) for a model with a 5 inch screen or 25,000 yen for a 6
inch screen.

It hopes to sell 300,000 Readers in the first year and win
half the domestic market by 2012, Sony Marketing Japan president
Nobuki Kurita told reporters.

The move marks the Japanese consumer electronics giant’s
return to a difficult market from which it pulled out along with
Panasonic Corp (6752.T: ) in 2007 due to a lack of content. Sony
offered less than 10,000 titles at the time.

Rivals in the domestic market include Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.)’s (AAPL.O: )
iPad, launched in Japan in May, and Sharp Corp’s (6753.T: )
Galapagos. Amazon (AMZN.O: ) does not yet offer Japanese titles for
its Kindle reader.

Despite interest from readers who lack space to store books
in their homes, electronic books have yet to gain widespread
popularity in Japan, mainly due to the cautious attitude of
publishers. [ID:nTOE63J034]

“I believe Japan has the potential to become the world’s
second- or third-largest market for e-readers, but there are some
complex aspects to the market,” said Sony Electronics Senior Vice
President Fujio Noguchi.

In contrast with Japan, Sony offers 1.2 million titles via
its Reader Store in North America.

Sony teamed up with KDDI Corp (9433.T: ), Toppan Printing Co
(7911.T: ) and the Asahi Shimbun newspaper in May to create the
electronic book distribution business from which the online store
will source books.

($1=83.51 Yen)
(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds and Reiji Murai; Editing by
Michael Watson)

Sony to return to Japan e-reader market in December