E-commerce retailer Flipkart has announced on its website that it will stop offering ebooks for download and it will migrate all libraries of its existing users to Kobo, starting December 17.
Flipkart's spokesperson offered the following quote in an emailed statement.
"The Indian book market is overwhelmingly dominated by physical books and this is a market that is growing at a fast clip. Flipkart will continue to be a leading player in the overall books market in India. In an overall strategy for books, Flipkart does not see the eBooks service as a strategic fit and hence the decision of transitioning the eBooks service to Kobo".
In the FAQs, Flipkart states that users can continue to access the ebooks app even after the transition. An email with the personalised transfer link will be emailed, and available on its ebooks section on the 17th of December, which will enable users to transfer their libraries from Flipkart eBooks to Kobo. Titles that are not available on Kobo will be refundable to the user's Flipkart account, the company says.
Flipkart had launched ebooks in November 2012 as a part of its digital store Flyte in November 2012, which ceased music operations in June 2013.
In August 2013, the company launched its ebook apps for iOS, Windows Phone, and Web, and had tied up with Smashwords, a California-based multi-format ebooks publisher. The relationship ended two years later, as its systems were "not capable of supporting the dynamic nature of the Smashwords catalog."
(Also Read: Kindle, Kobo, Flipkart, or Rockstand: Finding The Best Reading App in India)
Founded in December 2009, Toronto-based Rakuten Kobo Inc is owned by Japanese ecommerce company Rakuten Inc, which sells and sells ebook readers and tablets, and has a catalog of four million ebooks and magazines.
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