Originally Posted by kumaryu
It would certainly make sense to unify the code for KT in both JP and non-JP markets.
OTOH, ebook reader devices are merely a means to sell content. If releasing new unified firmware upgrades would stimulate the sales of content to existing KT customers, I would imagine they may consider it. If by releasing such a significant upgrade, Rakuten/Kobo can engineer an exceptional brand loyalty, it would certainly be attractive.
That said however, the introduction of a totally different reader software and the process required to upgrade existing firmware will result in additional support costs.
All this would need to be considered in the light of imminent release of Kindle for the JP market by Amazon. My own personal view is that in order for Rakuten/Kobo to retain market share against Amazon, they would need to leverage something like brand loyalty/image.
That said, w/o understanding Rakuten/Kobo's view on these matters, it would be difficult to predict whether v2.0 of KT firmware will be released.
I think the critical issue is the hardware of the KT in Japan. If they are releasing the same hardware with firmware that uses EPUB3 to allow correct rendering etc., then I see little reason not to release the firmware to all. The delivery cost approaches 0 as it just uses some bandwidth when a user syncs. I suppose some small overhead as well for someone to move files etc. to get the update pushed out.
So, I think if the hardware in Japan is the same, the firmware will come out. I suppose that changing rendering engine should result in an increment to first digit.