Google is finally opening its e-bookstore in Singapore today, bringing with it millions of titles, from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to Singapore’s own non-fiction Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew to phone, tablet and PC users in the country.
The content will be accessible to Android and iOS users, as well as those using a PC to read the books.
Interestingly, the online search giant has chosen to open the books section of its Play store to Singapore users at a time when several similar stores by local companies have shut down.
SingTel’s Skoob online store stopped selling digital books last week and will shut down on November 5. This comes months after MediaCorp’s ilovebooks.com also closed shop.
StarHub’s Booktique store, opened in March this year, is one major local e-bookstore left standing after a rush to open such e-bookstores in the past two years.
Google is perhaps seeing business opportunities where the local players have not managed to tap on. That, or it has the scale of running a global store to keep margins healthy.
For users, the new store will bring another international option to rival Apple’s iTunes, Amazon’s Kindle and Kobo.
However, Google’s catalog is not similar to that in the United States, a spokesperson confirmed with Techgoondu.
“The international catalog is based on which titles international publishers have made available in Singapore,” she explained. That number, she would only say, is in the “millions”.
No news either of the other cool stuff on Google’s Play store, such as movies and music, which are still officially off limits to Singapore users.