Originally Posted by RickyMaveety
Amazon is not in the "hardware" business, they are in retail focusing primarily on books.
And, as a bookseller they have (very wisely, I think) decided to provide not only ebooks, but a dedicated reader for them.
Wisely for them, at least. They can use their market position to drive demand both ways. They can offer superior pricing, if you use a Kindle, which encourages you to get a Kindle to get the pricing advantage. You are locked into Amazon's proprietary platform, and to them as the seller.
It all works fine as long as Amazon carries the content you want and you are happy with the Kindle as a platform. If either of those choices is untrue, things change.
You think Amazon will make more money if they go into direct competition with Sony and start selling lrf format books?? You honestly think Sony is going to give Amazon the right to do that?? I mean, I'm not one with a lot of respect for Sony, but even they have to know that the real profit isn't in the device ... it's in the books for the device purchased over the long term. I've only had my Kindle about two months, but I've already spent well over $600 on books from Amazon.
If Amazon concentrated on providing books for all ebook readers, there would be a lot of very unhappy companies out there ... probably screaming "monopoly" at the top of their lungs.
Amazon selling Sony LRF is a fatuous comparison. Amazon has no need to sell Sony LRF, whether of not Sony would permit it. If it's available for the Sony Reader in LRF format, it's almost certainly available for the Kindle. The reverse is not true.
The issue is whether you can get what you want, and have choices about where you get it. For paper books, you have many
choices about where you can purchase a title, both in brick and mortar, and on line. For dedicated readers, you don't. Want a commercial title for the Sony REader? Go to the Sony Connect store. Want a commercial title for the Kindle? Go the the Kindle store.
I see the Sony firmware update adding ePub capability as a huge step, because it potentially breaks the tie to the Sony Connect store. You should be able to get an ePub formatted book from anywhere and read it on the Sony Reader. (From reports elsewhere in MR, all ePub files are not created equal, and some people have tried don't run on the Sony, but that seems to be an issue with the file, and not the Sony firmware.)
The biggest advantage the Kindle has over the Sony Reader at the moment is a broader variety of content available for the Kindle. If that advantage should diminish, things might get interesting.
Essentially, I think Sony and Amazon are approaching this from different perspectives. Sony wants to sell hardware, and when they chose to offer a reader, had to provide content to read on it, and create the infrastructure to sell it to you. Amazon wants to sell content, and already had the infrastructure to do the sales. They simply needed to create the hardware to read on it. They didn't really have to create the hardware: they could have simply chosen to offer ebooks in popular formats. But by offering their own hardware and using a proprietary DRM solution, they encourage sales of their device as well as their ebooks.
Basically, for Sony, I think it's about the reader. For Amazon, I think it's about the books. If ePub takes off as a popular end user format, I don't think Sony will be unhappy. More sources of content means more potential Reader sales, and they might not cry too hard if it meant winding down Sony Connect. Sony historically hasn't been in the business of selling content. They've been a supplier of devices to play content. I don't think the Reader has changed that orientation.
I'll be curious to see what Amazon will do if ePub takes off.