Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rakuten deals with bad reviews of the Kobo Touch by deleting them

The Digital Reader reports that Rakuten's launch of the Kobo Touch in Japan isn't going quite as expected. Despite the company's "Kill Amazon" chest-beating a few weeks ago, actual customers aren't thrilled about the Kobo Touch eReader. Reviews on the website gave the eReader an average rating of 2.96 out of 5, and reviews were fairly equally split between four stars and one star. I'm using the past tense because Rakuten took the entire review page off its website. Reviews of the eReader complained about "...crashing setup of kobo desktop application, very limited offer of Japanese books, unresponsive touch screens, poor customer service, etc."

To be fair, the Kobo Touch has only been on sale in Japan for a week, and there are almost always problems at launch. However, the Kobo Touch isn't a new product--it's been shipping for more than a year. Rakuten may have believed that its dominance of the Japanese eCommerce market would allow it to quickly build comparable dominance of the country's eBook market. However, if they don't fix the problems with the Japanese-language Kobo Touch quickly, what's more likely is that they'll either kill the domestic eBook market or hand it to Amazon.
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