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Old 06-27-2012, 09:15 AM   #1
lecoeur
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Kobo touch to launch in Japan before kindle

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/economy...AJ201206210037
Rakuten have stolen the march on Amazon by getting it's own reader (kobo) into it's domestic market at the end of July. Nice to see a competitive company leading, rather than following.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:27 AM   #2
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I may have posted the same link in the news forum. Good for them for beating Amazon if they can.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:21 PM   #3
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Interesting...

however, this:
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/economy...AJ201204170023
will be the key issue.

Mainstream JP publishers have been been coy about providing digital editions. As they played shy, a cottage industry for DIY digitzed books helped by the advent of cheap and fast double-sided scanners has established its self.

Popularity of comics as an additional medium for dissemination of information that would otherwise have been reserved for the printed word has influenced the non-development of the market which elsewhere was fuelled by the pulp fiction market.

The determining factor in the developing ebook market in JP would be in what deals the platform holders can strike up w/ the major publishers. A partnership w/ a killer bestseller would be the one sure way to set a standard.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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Kobo Japan launch press release

Here's a link to the English version of Rakuten's press release, which was in Japanese of course.
http://www.teleread.com/paul-biba/he...panese-market/

I can't help but notice that whilst everything is in Japanese, in the pictures it displays a qwerty keyboard which I assume could cause a bit of confusion in searching for books with Japanese titles
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:48 AM   #5
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Most cellphones in Japan allow you to type the letters of the sounds which are then converted into Kanji. Even if people don't do that on their phones they do it on their computers so I doubt there'll be too much confusion.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lecoeur View Post
I can't help but notice that whilst everything is in Japanese, in the pictures it displays a qwerty keyboard which I assume could cause a bit of confusion in searching for books with Japanese titles
ALL Japanese computers use a qwerty keyboard. However, there are some differences between the English language keyboard and the Japanese; the space bar on the Japanese keyboard is very small as there are no spaces used between words. The apostrophe is found on the #2 key instead of under the Quote mark, and the @ is in a different location. All the keys provide for the phonetic sounds of the Japanese syllabary. For example, the A key gives both the Hiragana and Katakana 'ah' sound, and there is a special key for switching back and forth. After writing a word in Hiragana, the computer will show a list of possible Kanji that can be used in place of the phonetic spelling, to give the correct written form.

It does take longer to type in Japanese, but unless you are writing a multi-page document it's not a problem.


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Old 07-03-2012, 11:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck_in_Japan View Post
Most cellphones in Japan allow you to type the letters of the sounds which are then converted into Kanji. Even if people don't do that on their phones they do it on their computers so I doubt there'll be too much confusion.
Our Japanese keyboard will offer hiragana/kanji options as you type.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:58 AM   #8
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Nice to see a competitive company leading, rather than following.
As both Kobo and Amazon follow Sony's lead.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:28 AM   #9
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I've been comparing the tech specs for KT from Rakuten and that available on Kobo site. The only h/w diffeence that I can see is the use of iMX507 on the Rakuten model as opposed to iMX508. As far as I can tell, the only difference between 507 and 508 is that the former lacks 2D acceleration.

Doe this mean that the firmware for the JP model may (theoretically) be installed on standard KTs bought elsewhere? Will the firmware be available for non-Rakuten models?
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitchawl View Post
It does take longer to type in Japanese, but unless you are writing a multi-page document it's not a problem.
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It may take longer to type a single character/letter but in practice, with practice, its about the same for an equivalent piece of text on a normal computer keyboard.

English: 210 characters including spaces
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


Japanese: 82 characters
我らは以下の諸事実を自明なものと見なす、すべての人間は平等につくられている、創造主によって,生存,自 由そして幸福の追求を含むある侵すべからざる権利を与えられている、


Japanese as entered on a QWERTY keyboard: 202 key presses, including henkan after every kanji compound (denoted as:_)
warera_haikano_shojijitsu_wojimei_namonotominasu_. subetenoninngennha_byoudou_nitsukurareteiru.souzou shuniyotte_,seizonn_,jiyuu_,soshitekoufuku_notsuik yuu_wofukumu_aruokasu_bekarazukenri_woataerareteir u,

Character count for an equivalent block of text is usually less in Japanese. There are differences in entry methods that increase or decrease WPM. In practical terms however, its about the same with JP entry being slightly faster for those equally adept in both languages.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kumaryu View Post
It may take longer to type a single character/letter but in practice, with practice, its about the same for an equivalent piece of text on a normal computer keyboard.

English: 210 characters including spaces
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


Japanese: 82 characters
我らは以下の諸事実を自明なものと見なす、すべての人間は平等につくられている、創造主によって,生存,自 由そして幸福の追求を含むある侵すべからざる権利を与えられている、


Japanese as entered on a QWERTY keyboard: 202 key presses, including henkan after every kanji compound (denoted as:_)
warera_haikano_shojijitsu_wojimei_namonotominasu_. subetenoninngennha_byoudou_nitsukurareteiru.souzou shuniyotte_,seizonn_,jiyuu_,soshitekoufuku_notsuik yuu_wofukumu_aruokasu_bekarazukenri_woataerareteir u,

Character count for an equivalent block of text is usually less in Japanese. There are differences in entry methods that increase or decrease WPM. In practical terms however, its about the same with JP entry being slightly faster for those equally adept in both languages.

Very nice. I wish you had timed it, though. I'd like to see the actual time for a full page of text in Japanese and in English, both done by competent typists. Unfortunately, I'm not competent in either...


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Old 07-04-2012, 07:49 AM   #12
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Anyone notice on the Japanese Kobo site the cool Kobo-branded led light? Looks cool.

So with the Kobo being released in Japan I wonder if there will be a new hardware release of the Kobo this year or do you think perhaps just firmware updates?
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:24 AM   #13
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Very nice. I wish you had timed it, though. I'd like to see the actual time for a full page of text in Japanese and in English, both done by competent typists. Unfortunately, I'm not competent in either...
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Beyond comparison of character/keycounts the "intelligence" of the input system that converts / suggests the correct kanji compounds (as well as entire phrases) based on phonetics, context, frequency and user preference, as well as it's UI would be a vital factor determining the speed of input.

With regard to Japanese on Kobo Touch, it would be the quality of the input system that would have the biggest impact on whether the virtual keyboard is usable. That said however, I practically never use the keyboard on my KT and I suspect it may not be the make/break factor for its success in the Japanese market.

Last edited by kumaryu; 07-04-2012 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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Coverage of Rakuten/Kobo announcement (2 July) had some additonal information that I found interesting and curious.

Price for Kobo Touch JP will be JPY 7,980 (80.00 Euros / USD 100.00).

Content distribution and hardware orders will commence on the 19th (July).

Content business (for JP market) will be hosted by Kobo in Canada.
This will mean that sales tax (Consumption Tax) will not be applied to titles sold by Kobo. A comment from the Finance Ministry indicates that they are planning to revise the law to impose sales tax on sales by overseas retailers.

*Rakuten has an existing ebook content business, "Raboo" provided in conjunction with booklista (a partnership with Sony, Toppan, KDDI and Asahi Shimbun).

The reader software onboard will be ACCESS NetFrontTM BookReader v1.0 EPUB Edition.
This will provide support for EPUB3 and all the basic requirements for Japanese text layout. EPUB3 support will also be provided by ACCESS for reader apps on other platforms.

Last edited by kumaryu; 07-04-2012 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:38 PM   #15
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So with the Kobo being released in Japan I wonder if there will be a new hardware release of the Kobo this year or do you think perhaps just firmware updates?
It would be weird, and probably bother early adopters if they launched a KT replacement (say.. KT w/light) just six months after launching in Japan. They would probably release a new device at the same-time globally, and releasing in December would be poor timing.

So yeah, probably just firmware updates, and it sounds like there are some significant revisions in the current beta for the KT... (I wouldn't know for sure. I'm not in the testing program.)
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