Originally Posted by Shaggy
Exactly. The only reason for making Kindle books different from Mobipocket in the first place was to create an exclusive format that only their device could support. If they really wanted a common format that could be sold for other devices, they already had it. Just sell Mobipocket books for the same price as the Kindle books.
They don't do that though, and it's not by accident.
The Kindle product line is more difficult to get going elsewhere than they thought it would be. Exclusivity can be a drawback as well as a benefit.
America is easy. One big country. One phone supplier, one set of publishers to deal with. One deal.
So Amazon>>> Publisher>>>Sprint. Easy..
International sales would require the same steps, but for every individual country. And some are not going to be big enough markets to make it worthwhile.
So. If it is going to be a case of splitting the rest of the world into different small blocks, and perhaps too small blocks to make it pay, then Kindle outside America with several different modems or with no modem at all is a different proposition. Remove the Kindle, and all you have to deal with is the publishers you already deal with, no support costs, no regional versions of the reader, no headaches. And most importantly, no EU competition commission knocking at your door with a court date.
Add the head start that Sony and others have got on the Kindle, and we have a less attractive device before the first one is delivered. So dropping the exclusive to the Kindle market would make sense.
A few thousand Kindle subscribers, or a few tens of thousands of potential e-book sales from readers/phones/PDAs/PCs etc.. . Which would you prefer if you were Amazon?
A walled garden is a difficult thing to sell. Especially if you are selling a pretty new concept to enthusiasts. Because realistically, this is not a product aimed at the impulse buyer. It's a considered purchase that will be looked into before buying. And the target market are keen readers. Not people who buy a book at the airport before going on holiday.
In an ideal world, Amazon would spin off the Kindle into it's own company, and sell books in any format people wanted. This is what I'd really like to see.
I can see the advantage of having your own device, and selling the media for it, but splitting the market into several chunks only loses money.
Even Apple, the great supporters of soup to nuts products still made the Ipod work on Windows, and allowed ripping of CDs and importing of MP3 files. To have locked it down to the point where the only place to get music was the iTunes store would have crippled the device, and not many people would have bought one.
Who knows what will happen. Personally I'm hoping he is true to his words, and does start offering everything in multiple formats. All we need then, is for DRM to bog off and die.