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Reporter's notebook: Why iPad isn't cracking the Japanese market

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danny1024
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re: Reporter's notebook: Why iPad isn't cracking the Japanese market
danny1024   1/31/2010 12:22:43 PM
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It's a bit premature to discuss the marketability of an unreleased Apple product. However, the analysis provided in the article is very convincing but missing a key point; the iPad will fail to penetrate the Japanese market because it's not sufficiently optimized to display hi-fidelity Anime/Manga/Hentai.

junko.yoshida
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re: Reporter's notebook: Why iPad isn't cracking the Japanese market
junko.yoshida   1/29/2010 5:59:57 PM
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I received an interesting e-mail from one of our readers today. The reader wrote: The real problem behind not having sufficient contents for e-readers is that the Japanese publishers in their contracts with writers only cover the right to publish books in paper but nothing else. Another reason is that royalties for printed book is 90% for the publisher and 10% for writers. Kindle pays as much as 50% to the writer. If e-books do pick up in Japan, publishers will inevitably go out of business. Apple or any on-line publisher for that matter can only succeed by signing on the writers directly and not go through the publishing houses who do not have be rights to represent writers anyway. # # # Now, that's very interesting. I talked to a couple of Japanese people working in the publishing industry today to confirm these facts. Our reader is correct on most accounts. There is really no contract between writers and publishing houses on e-books. Actually, for that matter, there is no "written" contract per se -- in general. Moreover, a substantial share ?? out of publisher's 90 percent cut ?? goes to two large book distributors in Japan. If a new book comes out, these two distributors decide how many copies should be distributed to which book store throughout Japan. So, what really comes down to is this: If anyone (Amazon included) wants to break into a non-existent Japanese e-book market, one needs to come up with lots of creative thinking and deal makings. But will Japanese publishers be up to break a very arcane publishing eco-system they themselves have built? I remain skeptical. But if the Japanese publishers decide to delay the e-book market any further, they would be doing it at their own peril.

junko.yoshida
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re: Reporter's notebook: Why iPad isn't cracking the Japanese market
junko.yoshida   1/29/2010 4:46:39 PM
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Of course, there was a fair amount of media coverage on iPad in the local Japanese language, including the front page article of the evening edition of Nikkei. But my point was that no media coverage in Japan matched the breathlessness of reporting and iPad speculation feeding frenzy that occurred in the United States, especially leading up to Apple's actual announcement. Unless you are really tuned in, no average Japanese person knows much about e-books, period. And that was the mystery I wanted to solve.

Pukupuku
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re: Reporter's notebook: Why iPad isn't cracking the Japanese market
Pukupuku   1/29/2010 7:47:09 AM
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The size of the iPad is open now. I am just making a forecast taking Japanese tendency and circumstances into consideration.

luko
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re: Reporter's notebook: Why iPad isn't cracking the Japanese market
luko   1/29/2010 4:57:24 AM
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I think the headline to begin with is very misleading. The product is not released yet. So, how does one know if it will or will not 'crack the market'. Also, Steve Jobs' presentation did make the National News on Japanese language TV; more coverage than I think it would have received on Calgary TV (But I was not in Calgary, I'm in Sapporo) so I can't be sure. Finally, it was front page news this morning (Friday) on the Japanese Times (English newspaper). So, people know about it. Only time will tell if it will sell here in Japan or anywhere!

Pukupuku
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re: Reporter's notebook: Why iPad isn't cracking the Japanese market
Pukupuku   1/29/2010 4:21:18 AM
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I agree with Junko. I am sure Japanese people will not carry such a big device to read articles, novels, or newspapers. Most people expect cell phones and iphones to continue getting new and advanced functions.

junko.yoshida
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re: Reporter's notebook: Why iPad isn't cracking the Japanese market
junko.yoshida   1/28/2010 11:37:02 PM
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Thanks. Yes, it was an eye-opener for me, too. No e-book fad in Japan? But anyway, Manga (comic books) is a natural. I hear that some Manga are already distributed via mobile network. So, the question really comes down to: Will the Japanese choose mobile phones for their reading needs over e-books or iPad, for that matter? I am betting on the former.

-wl-
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re: Reporter's notebook: Why iPad isn't cracking the Japanese market
-wl-   1/28/2010 8:19:37 PM
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An enlightening article Yoshida-san. Very, very surprising, just the opposite of what I would have expected. I would have thought Asian scripts would have been a natural for these devices. They couldn't be as easily type-set as roman characters. But I don't work in that industry, so maybe it's not an issue. However, Manga is popular over there (and among people like my son over here!), and that would definitely be easier and less costly to distribute electronically. Clearly there's an opportunity. Who wants to jump in first?!

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