Telecom operator, Aircel has launched an e-book store called ‘Aircel BookMate' for its subscribers. As per the company statement, BookMate is a one-stop-shop for avid readers and book lovers to browse, store, download and read books, magazines and comics, on their smartphones, tablets as well as PCs. The e-book store currently offers a catalogue of paid fiction and non-fiction novels, magazines, comics, biographies, children’s stories and reference books, as well as a range of free titles.
The portal has publishers like Outlook, Diamond Comics (Chacha Chaudhary), Chandamama and Media Transasia, Syndication Today (India Today), among others. The company claims that the e-book store will also have a variety of books available in vernacular languages. While the exact number of e-books being offered was not available (we have contacted the company for the same), we felt that the offering is very thin in comparison to the other players in the space.
Anupam Vasudev, chief marketing officer (CMO), Aircel, said, “India is an emerging market for digital books as e-book sales have risen exponentially in the recent time. According to a study by Juniper Research, globally about 30 per cent of e-books will be purchased on tablets, 15 per cent will be purchased on smartphones and roughly 55 per cent will be purchased on e-readers by 2016. Thus, we have introduced our own e-book store to provide our customers a range of e-books and e-magazines.”
Users can download e-books via the BookMate or the Android app (available on the Google Play store). While there is no word about an iOS app launch, the site does give an option of searching for books for iOS, Symbian and Mac devices, hinting that going forward we can expect to see the same. For downloading e-cooks, existing Aircel subscribers will need to register on www.aircelbookmate.com.
A ‘points system’ has been introduced for users to buy e-books from the website, and users can sign-up for a monthly membership.
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