Friday, January 29, 2010
Apple iPad: Is It Actually an Amazon Trojan Horse?
The excitement is somewhat paradoxical because although Apple is giving publishers a better split of sales proceeds (70 percent vs. Amazon's 50), these sales will actually make the publishers less money: Apple "iBooks" prices will be capped at $14.99, while right now, Amazon is paying publishers half of a list price that could be $25 to $30.
Furthermore, what no one has mentioned so far is that Amazon already has a Kindle reader app for the iPhone which allows you to buy books and read them--and supposedly all iPhone apps will work on the iPad. So will you potentially have a choice of buying an e-book from
Apple's iBooks store for $14.99--or, buying the same title from Amazon, on the same device, just as conveniently, for $9.99?
I feel as though I must be misunderstanding something, because this seems like a setup to make iBooks completely irrelevant in a hurry. This will be no skin off Apple, because the iPad will be just as good an e-reader with a Kindle app as it is with iBooks. So it could be a "Kindle killer" in the sense of luring potential customers of Amazon's device. But it could at the same time actually strengthen Amazon's hold over the book market--the exact opposite of what publishers hoped would happen.
In that case, our joy at the tablet will be short-lived. Not as short-lived as Adolf Hitler's, though, in this latest expression of the unquenchable internet meme: