Shueisha announced that it will begin selling digital versions of its manga for mobile phones in 28 countries and territories, including Japan and the U.S., beginning early next year.  Initial offerings will include 20 to 30 titles, including Dragon Ball. 


Shueisha is the Japanese publisher of many of Viz Media’s bestselling manga releases in the U.S., including Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, and Dragon Ball. 


The digital copies will be sold via Microsoft for its Microsoft Mobile operating system. DRM (digital rights management) functions will be included to slow piracy.


Microsoft Mobile is the 4th largest mobile phone operating system, with a 9% share.  Ahead of Microsoft are Symbian (50%), Blackberry (21%), and Apple, where most of the digital comics action is in the U.S. (14%).