11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 3, 2013 5:38 AM by Tom Gewecke
MartinJapan Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

I am British, but I live and work in Japan. With the exciting news that the iPad is launching in Japan on May 28, I have a question about the iBooks store.

I have an iPhone and use the iTunes store. But a lot of the apps are JAPANESE ONLY versions... pretty useless to me.

Now, will the iBook Store be selling ENGLISH books, or only Japanese books in Japan?

And isn't it about time Apple got its act together and launched an INTERNATIONAL store?

I mean, what exactly is the point of limiting content in, for example, the iTunes Japan store to Japanese apps/books, when I can buy the English versions on trips to the UK/US?

Explanation please?

Yours in anticipation of owning a great iPad with no decent apps because of this stupid iTunes Store policy...


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Mac_or_Nothing Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    I think that basically, iTunes categorizes the iBook store by country, so therefore if you are in Japan, then you can (for the majority) only get Japanese books. On iTunes (on your computer), you can scroll to the bottom on the homepage, and it will say 'change country'. That should give you some more book choices by country.
    I hope that this helped you.
  • MartinJapan Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Well, let's hope so.

    I really do wonder at the whole idea of only being able to buy certain products in certain countries.

    I can order anything from Amazon and have it delivered to my door.

    But try to buy Scrabble in English in Japan on iTunes and you may as well go 4W yourself.

    Thanks anyway.

  • MartinJapan Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    No. Selecting a different country logs me out of the iTunes Store. I have to sign in to, for example, the US Store. When I do, it simply redirects me to the Japanese Store. I tried creating a new account with the US Store, but I was redirected to the Japanese Store again. It does not work.

    Try it yourself. Try changing your country to Japan and take a look at the nightmare I have to deal with!

    I am seriously considering NOT buying an iPad until I leave Japan next year. Without iBooks in English iPad looses a lot of its appeal. I wonder how limited the Apps Store will be here in Japan too.
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (74,985 points)
  • BlogD Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
    On Apple mobile devices, your location is fairly quickly figured out and you are shut out of any non-Japanese stores, books and apps included. For the iPad, that means no books right now AT ALL--as the bookstore is not open in Japan yet.

    At least with apps, you can still buy them with an overseas account in iTunes and then sync them to your iPhone/iPad (I'm hoping Apple won't yank that also). But the Apple bookstore is only available via the mobile app, so we're outta luck on that one. You could try Kindle, or else acquire your ebooks elsewhere and drop epub versions in the "Books" category in iTunes and then sync them to the iPad. Stanza and Calibre are two free Mac apps which do a good job of exporting to epub format.
  • MartinJapan Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    So, the iPad has landed in Japan.

    Anyone bought one over here?

    What's the iBooks situation? Anything available in English for those of us..... WHO LIVE ABROAD!!!!!!


    <Edited by Host>
  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    Yes, I live in japan and have an iPad.
    Yes, there are some books available in English, but, as with music, applications and other items, Apple sees fit to tell us what we can and can't buy.

    I can count the music that I have bought from iTunes on one hand.
    Same with movies.

    Forget TV.

    Your choices will always be limited as long as you are in another country.

    I, too, don't understand the idea surrounding limiting choices for users based on location.
    Granted, there are some DRM issues with music and video, along with release date variations, BUT, in this world that is so closely connected, this type of marketing is opposing to the very nature of the technologies and information sharing systems that we embrace.

    And I don't buy the "credit card issuing bank" bull, either.....

    Right now, the only way around this, as near as I can tell, is to have an account in each the countries of your choice, with a credit card issued from each of those countries.

    Or, just go to Kinokuniya, or use Amazon.

    BTW, I'd like to have Scrabble, as well as dozens of other apps.

    Apple doesn't think I need them.

    Steve Jobs wants us free from p*rn, which is fine, but what's up with Scrabble?

    Heck, I can't even get many native English apps for my daughters to use.
    I can get some English apps written by Japanese for Japanese, but these are totally inadequate from a native speakers stand point....

    "This is a Pen" and "I am Kenji" just don't cut it......

    Anyhow, it doesn't matter what we say here, as this is a user to user site, and it won't change anything to get upset here.
    It will only alienate.

    Use the links that Tom Gewecke provided to request features, products, access, etc.

    Until policies are changed, we will have to continue to be limited in what we use, and forced to find alternative methods of obtaining that which we desire.

    So, if you are going to buy an iPad for books, forget it.
    If you can use it for other purposes until what you want becomes available (many items never) then go for it.

    Myself, I like the iPad.

    Apple just won't get as much money from me as they could until they change their policies.
  • zeichensprecher Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)

    You can set up a foreign iTunes account:

    · Log out of your account in iTunes, then switch the country
    · Buy any item (best at this stage is a free one)
    · Select "create new account"
    · Now comes the tricky part:
    In Germany, you can also use PayPal, so you don't need no foreign credit cards anymore. I suppose you remember putting in the correct address of the respective country (and remember that in case you want to order a non-virtual product like an iPhoto book
    · Done!

    This worked for me (from Germany setting up a US-account), as I received a couple of free coupons to test apps, but coupons are restricted to US-users only (and this one is really silly!)
    But for the media stuff, I don't think this is Apple's fault: it’s the content industry with their silly licensing crap.

    For those of you who want to put in a correct address or order non-virtual items, you should check the web for delivery services like usunlocked.com

    Hope this helps,
    best regards,
  • Michael Vallance Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    good advice.

    i am in japan at the moment so if i create a new UK iTunes account and use the direct debit 'click & buy' option, can I download books, films, etc from iTunes UK while in Japan?
  • aliveonearth Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am also sick of this.  Its incredablely frustrating to try and down load an ebook and you cant even buy in a language you can actually read.   Sure there are problems wiht tax beign differnet in each reagion and getting you mac book in the US is ofter 20% cheeper because the prices are all set in a local currency that is moving  faster than apple can change prices.


    From my experence if you are looking for e-content.. books ...  in your native language itunes is preity limited and the majority of people while probably happy to pay the content privider somthing just down load

    it rather than botherin to set up an itunes account in every country.   Its preity lame when you see and read all the hype on the latest movies in you native language that you would be happy to pay to see. Then you have to wait 2 month just for them to come available in your region. ... why bother.

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (74,985 points)

    aliveonearth wrote:


    Its incredablely frustrating to try and down load an ebook and you cant even buy in a language you can actually read.  


    When something you want is not available in the ibookstore, the best solution is usually to look for it in one of the other stores that offer free ereader apps for  your device, such as Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Googlebooks, or Sony.