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Flipkart Stops Selling E-Books

Flipkart Ltd will stop selling electronic books from Friday, three years after the online retailer started selling the product, acknowledging that Indians are yet to warm up to them.

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Flipkart Ltd will stop selling electronic books from Friday (11 December), three years after the online retailer started selling the product, acknowledging that Indians are yet to warm up to them.

E-books purchased on Flipkart after Friday will be serviced by Canada’s eBook and eReader provider Rakuten Kobo.

“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,” the company said in a statement. “In its overall strategy for books, Flipkart does not see the e-Books service as a strategic fit and hence the decision of transitioning the e-Books service to Kobo.”

Flipkart started selling e-books from 2012 and in 2013 it launched its mobile application for various platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Web so that the users can read the e-books through this app.

In September, Flipkart ended their contract with Smashwords, a distributor of e-books. Thus, it was being speculated that the company will shut down its e-book operations.

Market researcher Nielsen has said the print book market in India is valued at $3.9 billion and is pegged as the second largest English book market in the world.

It is noteworthy that Flipkart was started as an online book retailer in 2007, but it later expanded its business to higher value products.

Currently, Flipkart’s chief competitor Amazon is the leading online book seller in India.

Amazon entered the Indian market and quickly focused on the books segment. Right now, Amazon focuses more on selling e-reader Kindle which features some of the bestselling authors of India.

So far, Flipkart has had no luck with either of its digital services businesses. Last year, the company shut down its online payment gateway named PayZippy which was launched in 2013.

In May 2013, the company also shut down Flyte, its online music streaming business just after 15 months. And now, it is exiting ebooks market.


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flipkart e-books e-tailers internet