Japanese consumer electronics firm Sharp says it will enter the e-book market. Sharp plans to offer e-book distribution and compatible reader devices later this year, joining a crowded sector that includes Apple, Amazon and Sony.
The company says it has the backing of publishing houses in Japan and overseas. Resistance by publishers to digital content - even in Japan's 20 billion U.S. dollar market - is gradually breaking down.
Google also says it plans to launch an e-book service in Japan. And Sony is teaming up with Japan's second largest mobile carrier KDDI to distribute content. With the intense competition, companies including Sony have already started slashing prices of e-readers.