Google India announced this morning that Google Play Bookstore was opened to Indian customers for the first time. Previously Indian owners of Android devices could only access the Android app section of Google Play.
Indian readers can buy ebooks from the Google Play website or from the Android app, and read them in a desktop browser, on Android, or with the iOS version of the Google Play Books app. eBooks are available as both free and paid, with the paid titles starting at around 50 rupees. The selection appears to be nearly as broad as in other ebookstores.
This story has already gotten some coverage in India, and one blog has took some time to compare the prices in Google Play Books vs the Kindle Store and Flyte, a local Indian ebookstore launched by the media retailer Flipkart:
We decided to compare the pricing on Google Play Books with existing players the Flipkart’s Flyte and Amazon’s Kindle. We chose 15 books across genres and categories randomly. We found that from the e-books we chose, most seemed to be cheapest on Amazon and that in a lot of cases the prices between Flyte and Google Play were either the same or varied by just a few rupees. Flyte seemed to have to least varied catalogue, but it is still a beta product.
Apple is not yet selling ebooks in India, though they do sell movies and music there. And there’s no news yet on whether Kobo plans to expand into India, but I would bet they will announce a deal there in the not too distant future.