Google Play Books Expands into Turkey, South Africa, and Switzerland

google play booksGoogle has quietly launched Google Play Books in 3 new countries today.Readers in Switzerland, Turkey, and South Africa can now buy ebooks. As always, ebook selection and pricing will differ from country to country, and it is not completely clear just how many titles are available.

This latest news follows previous expansions in September, July, and June and brings the total number of countries supported by GPB to 39. Their rate of expansion is accelerating, with 22 countries added since June.

That is both better and worse than Amazon, which sells ebooks in 170 countries but only has local ebookstores in fewer than 20, most of which are in Europe. Speaking of Amazon, today's news has guaranteed that Amazon will also launch a local Kindle Store in South Africa, just like I predicted back in September.

Three of Amazon's competitors are already set up in the country (Kobo, iBooks, and GPB), and at least 2 of them sell ebooks there. Apple expanded iBooks to include South Africa in October 2012, and Kobo signed a local retail partner shortly after that.

Amazon is going to launch a local Kindle Store in South Africa some time in the next 6 months, I think.

Android Police

About Nate Hoffelder (11585 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on Google Play Books Expands into Turkey, South Africa, and Switzerland

  1. Amazon’s ebook sales to 170 countries may coincide with Amazon’s claims, but has little bearing on geographical reality and even less on ebook reach.

    Amazon’s acclaimed list of countries includes such gems as Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, and European principalities like Monaco and San Marino.

    The Isle of Man and Gibraltar are no more countries than Hawaii or Rhode Island, and the European principalities can boast populations comparable to an American shopping mall on a quite weekend.

    A Kindle South Africa site would certainly be a bonus, but quite how this news guarantees Amazon will follow suit escapes me. On that logic Amazon will presumably also be launching in Turkey and Switzerland, and of course Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and all the other places GooglePlay is blazing a trail in.

    South African and Australian Kindle sites would make economic sense, because the English language countries can at least give Amazon a good ebook numbers kick-start thanks to the numerous indie titles with world rights, in English, at cheap prices which Amazon can use to beat GooglePlay. For now.

    But GP will soon have its own self-pub portal (in theory indies can upload direct now, but it’s a nightmare), as will ‘txtr.

    ‘Txtr by the way also have a South African ebook site.

    And of course within a digital stone’s throw of South Africa we have a lot more English-speaking countries in southern Africa who may not be buying Kindles or Kobo devices but are most certainly reading on smartphones and tablets.

    So far talk of “sub-Saharan Africa” from GP and Kobo seems to mean just South Africa (it’s doubtful Amazon know where the Sahara is), but there are huge untapped markets for ebooks across the African continent, and the colonial history means English and French cover pretty much all bases.

    If Kobo and GooglePlay are not in Nigeria before end 2014 I shall be very surprised. Further I would hope and expect GooglePlay to take full advantage of its unrivalled international brand recognition to have ebook stores across Arab-speaking North Africa and in at least a dozen or so key sub-Saharan countries like Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi.

    • “A Kindle South Africa site would certainly be a bonus, but quite how this news guarantees Amazon will follow suit escapes me. On that logic Amazon will presumably also be launching in Turkey and Switzerland, and of course Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and all the other places GooglePlay is blazing a trail in.”

      Nope.

      Amazon doesn’t support Turkish or Arabic in KDP, so a Kindle store in Turkey is unlikely. Also, the last time I checked Amazon doesn’t even sell Kindle ebooks in Turkey (it’s one of a long list of Muslim nations where Amazon won’t sell ebooks) so until they shift that policy a local Kindle store is impossible.

      But Amazon does support Afrikaans in KDP, so now that their competition is present in South Africa Amazon will follow.

      And as for Switzerland, Amazon recently added support for Romansch, the 4th official language of Switzerland. So a local Kindle Store is a possibility.

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Google Play Books : Suisse, Afrique du Sud et Turquie
  2. Google Play Books Launches in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, And Venezuela - The Digital Reader

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*