It looks like Amazon won’t be the only international ebookstore to launch in Brazil this year; Kobo hs dropped a few hints that the Brazilian branch of the Kobo store should open sometime in September.
Todd Humphrey, a VP with Kobo, was in Sao Paolo yesterday to speak at the Rakuten Super Expo, a one day web commerce conference (sponsored by Rakuten). Todd was there because Kobo is owned by Rakuten, obviously.
It’s not clear that he specifically said September (it looks like one source heard that elsewhere), but he is reported as saying that Kobo will launch in Brazil in the second half of this year. Todd is also quoted as saying that Kobo is currently talking to Brazilian booksellers as well as retailers. They’re looking to have both a local retail and bookstore partner, which makes a lot of sense.
I’m not sure about how many Portuguese ebooks Kobo can sell, but they are likely far behind Amazon, who currently stocks 4800 Kindle ebooks in Portuguese. But if Kobo can pull off a local partnership then there’s a chance that they can jump ahead of Amazon. At last count, the largest ebookstore in the Brazilian market was Gato Sabido, who had 7,292 ebooks in Portuguese (in early March). A local partner would also give the hands on user experience that Amazon lacks in a number of markets.
The latest report on Amazon was that they would launch their website in Brazil in September. Previously I had heard that the Brazilian Kindle Store would launch in June of this year, but that no longer seems likely.