Google's ebook store has finally launched in Australia, with its own local store and partnerships online with Dymocks and iRiver.
From today, avid ebook fans can access Google's ebook platform via books.google.com.au, where they can download the Google Books app for Android, iOS and the web. Google's ebooks are also compatible with any e-reader that supports Adobe DRM.
Dymocks customers will be able to purchase books from Google's ebook store directly from the Dymocks website. Ebooks purchased by Dymocks customers will be stored in the Dymocks cloud, with Google Bookshelf also accessible via Dymocks as well as Google.
Also partnering with Google's ebook offering will be the iRiver Story HD e-reader, which will provide a direct Wi-Fi link to the store — the only e-reader to partner with the internet giant. Due out around 21 November, the Story HD will also take a massive price cut compared to the AU$369 iRiver Cover Story, with an estimated retail price below AU$160.
It's hard to gauge the comparative catalogue size here, with the local offering boasting only "hundreds of thousands" of titles, compared to the "over three million" in the US; but we are also told that there are millions of free ebooks available here.
Whether or not it is a reduced catalogue, though, Google's entry into the Australian market is certainly the proverbial cat among the pigeons, and the strongest competitor to Amazon's grip on the market — at least, if its prices come down quite a ways. Ouch.
Stay tuned for CNET's review of the iRiver Story HD.