Amazon東へ: 日本語Kindle(PaperwhiteとFire)と日本語Kindle Store(+日本語eブック5万種)を立ち上げ

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kindle japanese

Rakutenに、痛いパンチ! Amazonの市場拡大は止(や)まず、アジアへの注力は一層強まる。今日(米国時間10/23)同社は、初めての日本語Kindleの予約受付を発表した。機種はPaperwhiteだ。そしてこれも初めて、Kindle Storeが日本にも店開きし、まず5万タイトルを揃える。また今日はさらに、日本でKindle Fire HDとKindle Fireの予約販売をスタートさせる

Kindle日本上陸の契機はおそらく、日本市場のライバルRakutenの最近の動きだ。国内でも、そして海外でも、Amazonに追いつき追い越せをその野望とするRakutenは、まず独自のeリーダーKobo Touch Readerを発売し、99ドルという価格でAmazonと同じ低価格市場をねらっている。5月にRakutenはPinterestに100万ドルを投資した。つまり同社の、打倒Amazonのジグソーパズルは、少しずつそのピースが盤上に揃いつつある。

Amazonはすでに12年間、日本で本を売っているが、Kindleに関してはあせらなかった。だから今回はいよいよ、Rakutenを脅威と感じ始めたということか?

Amazon.comのファウンダでCEOのJeff Bezosは、何と言っているか: “Amazon.co.jpで印刷書籍を12年間売ってきた弊社は今、その何百万ものお客様に新たにKindle Storeをご提供し、Oriconベストセラーをはじめ、書籍、文庫、漫画など5万あまりにのぼる、日本語タイトルの豊富な品揃えをお届けできることを、大きな喜びと感じております。それらはすべて、Kindle PaperwhiteやKindle Fire、Android携帯電話、Androidタブレット、iPhone、あるいはiPadをお持ちのどなたにも、ご利用いただけます。”

日本のKindle Storeに置かれる5万の日本語タイトルのうち、1万は無料だ。日本でとくに人気の高い絵物語に力点が置かれ、5万中1万5千は漫画である。

Kindle Storeの営業開始は10月25日で、68の日本語タイトルはAmazon独占だ。一方Kindle Paperwhiteの価格は8480円(106ドル)である。AmazonがKindleの日本展開を発表したのは9月だった。そして10月初めには、同社のモバイルアプリ配布ポータルを日本にも開設した。

AmazonがeリーダーKindleをロンチしたのは2007年だが、その後、国際展開の遅いことを批判されていた。しかしその理由は三つあるようだ: 非英語圏におけるキーボードの問題、無制限のデータ利用に関するキャリアの同意、そして各国に置けるコンテンツの適切な品揃えだ。

しかし、タッチスクリーンというキーボード不要の製品が登場したことによって、ハードウェアの問題はそれほど難関ではなくなった。またタブレットやそのほかのeリーダーが広く使われるようになると、コンテンツも豊富になってきた。そして最後に、WiFiのユーザが増えたことによってAmazonは、キャリアとの交渉を大きな障害と感じなくなった。

Kindleの国際的な普及は、Amazon本体に大きく貢献する。それはデバイスやeブックの売り上げ増大に伴う単一部門の“規模の経済”にとどまらず、広告収入をはじめ、同社の直接間接のさまざまな商機商材に波及効果を及ぼしていく。また、Kindleユーザの増加そのものも、今後の新しい商機商材が育つ基盤になる。

以下は、プレスリリースの抜粋だ。今後のアップデートが予定されているので、本記事への再度再々度のアクセスをお願いしたい。

[以下プレスリリースは英文ママ]

Amazon.co.jp Introduces Japanese Kindle Store and Kindle Paperwhite, the First Japanese-Language Kindle

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 24, 2012– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon.co.jp today announced that the new Kindle Paperwhite—the world’s most popular e-reader—is coming to Japan. Kindle Paperwhite offers 62% more pixels and 25% higher contrast compared to the previous generation Kindle, a unique built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions, a beautiful new manga experience, up to 8 weeks of battery life, and a thin and light design for just ¥8,480. Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G—the all-new top-of-the-line Kindle e-reader with free 3G wireless—never pay for or hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot—is just ¥12,980. The new Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G are available starting today for pre-order at http://www.amazon.co.jp/kindlepaperwhite and will begin shipping on November 19.

Amazon also today announced the Kindle Store on Amazon.co.jp, offering customers the largest selection of digital best sellers in Japan, with the most titles from this week’s Oricon top 100 books, top 50 bunko, and top 100 manga lists and a total of over 50,000 Japanese-language Kindle books including over 10,000 free Japanese titles and a broad selection of works from a wide range of leading Japanese authors and publishers. In total, the store offers over one million titles, including the largest selection of best sellers in English and other languages. For fans of manga, Kindle delivers the best experience, rendered beautifully on Kindle Paperwhite, and with the largest number of manga best sellers and over 15,000 manga titles overall. The Japanese Kindle Store will launch on October 25.

“After twelve years of selling print books on Amazon.co.jp, we are excited to offer the millions of Amazon.co.jp customers the new Kindle Store, with the largest selection of the books people want to read, the largest selection of Oricon best sellers in books, bunko, and manga, and over 50,000 Japanese-language titles—all available to anyone with a Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire, Android phone, Android tablet, iPhone, or iPad,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Kindle Paperwhite is the Kindle e-reader we have always wanted to build—it has 62% more pixels and 25% higher contrast than the previous generation Kindle, built-in front light, perfect for reading in bed or in sunlight, even thinner, with 8 weeks of battery life.”

New Japanese Kindle Store—Largest Selection of Best Sellers

The leading best seller selection in the Japanese Kindle Store includes popular book titles such as “Mitsukuni Den,” “Tsunagu,” and “Jinsei Ga Tokimeku Katazuke No Maho 2” and works from authors such as Arimasa Osawa with his entire “Shinjukuzame” series, and Yusuke Kishi with the special limited edition of his best-selling fiction “Shinsekai Yori” only available at Amazon, with a total of 68 exclusive titles. Manga titles include the latest best seller series “Magi,” “Termae Romae,” and the world-famous “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” of which the latest volume # 13 comes out on Nov. 2 and is available for digital pre-order only at Amazon. The 50,000 Japanese-language titles come from a wide range of publishers small and large, including Bungeishunju, Gentosha, Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shinchosha, Shogakukan and Shueisha, all of whom have worked with Amazon to make their titles available in the Kindle Store.

Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire Now Available for Pre-Order at Amazon.co.jp, Shipping December 19

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 24, 2012– (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Today, Amazon.co.jp is excited to announce that the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD are coming to Japan, giving Japanese customers access to Amazon’s vast selection of over 22 million books, manga, apps, games and songs, plus web browsing, email and more. Kindle Fire for ¥12,800 and Kindle Fire HD for ¥15,800 are available for pre-order today and will begin shipping December 19. Kindle Fire HD is already the #1 best-selling item in the world for Amazon.

Kindle Fire HD is the latest generation of the world’s best-selling 7” tablet. Features include:
Stunning customized HD display with in-plane switching, Advanced True Wide polarizing filter and customized laminated touch sensor for 25% less glare with rich color and deep contrast from any viewing angle.
Fastest Wi-Fi of any tablet—dual antenna, dual-band, and MIMO—40% faster downloads, compared to the next fastest tablet.
High-performance processor and graphics engine for snappy and smooth performance.
Exceptional battery life—over 11 hours.
Front-facing HD camera with customized Skype application for video calling from anywhere in the world.
Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio—the standard in high-end audio—available for the first time on a tablet.
16 GB or 32 GB of local storage, enough to accommodate the larger file sizes of HD content.
Amazon’s vast content ecosystem—over 22 million books, manga, apps, games and songs.
Best cross-platform interoperability, with Amazon apps available on the largest number of devices and platforms so customers can access content anytime, anywhere.
Amazon.co.jp’s top-rated, world-class customer service. Whenever customers shop on Amazon.co.jp, buy a Kindle, or buy Kindle content, they know that they are also getting Amazon’s world-class customer service. Customers have been shopping on Amazon.co.jp for 12 years, and they continue to do so because of the unparalleled, end-to-end customer experience.
Amazon.co.jp is also introducing an all-new upgraded version of the best-selling standard definition Kindle Fire with a faster processor, twice the memory and longer battery life than the original Kindle Fire—all for an even lower breakthrough price—only ¥12,800. Meet the all-new Kindle Fire family at http://www.amazon.co.jp/kindlefirehd.

“Kindle Fire HD is already the #1 best-selling item in the world for Amazon, and we’re thrilled to make it available for the first time in Japan. It features a stunning customized HD display, the fastest Wi-Fi, exclusive Dolby audio, powerful processor and graphics engine, 16 or 32 GB of storage and 11 hours of battery life,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Not only does Kindle Fire HD feature the most advanced hardware, it’s also a service. When combined with our unmatched content ecosystem, unmatched cross-platform interoperability, and standard-setting customer service, we hope people will agree that Kindle Fire HD is the best 7” tablet available anywhere, at any price.”

[原文へ]
(翻訳:iwatani(a.k.a. hiwa))