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Old 02-09-2010, 01:33 PM   #1
schroedercl2
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Post Why Amazon Can't Afford to Lose the eBook Wars to Apple

Upon browsing the news, I found a great article in the Washington Post about the supposed "eBook Wars." Based on the way everything is going right now, that is a fairly appropriate title.

Why Amazon Cannot Afford To Lose The eBook Wars To Apple
Erick Schonfeld TechCrunch.com
Thursday, February 4, 2010; 7:56 AM

"One defends when his strength is inadequate, he attacks when it is abundant."?Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The Apple iPad isn't even available yet, but already it is forcing Amazon to respond in a variety of ways to protect its competing Kindle eBook business. Amazon just snapped up a touchscreen technology startup, presumably to update the already ancient-looking Kindle. Emboldened book publishers are pushing back on Amazon's $9.99 pricing now that they can sell the same eBooks on the iPad for $14.99, and Amazon is capitulating. And the Kindle team at Amazon, which once had an arrogant approach towards publishers when it was the only game in town, is now bending over backwards to solicit their loyalty, says one editor at a publishing company who has noticed the change in tone.

Click here for the full article.

Last edited by schroedercl2; 02-10-2010 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:32 PM   #2
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if anything Apple knocked Amazon off their high horse
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:44 PM   #3
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I think it was bound to happen since now there is another popular option to buy ebook. Sure there are plenty places to get ebooks but not making it as easy as Amazon or iTunes. I am surprised that B&N is not in the middle of all this
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:00 PM   #4
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So, in a few years maybe we will hear Apple supporters declare that Apple Inc. invented ebooks and ebook readers?!!
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:11 PM   #5
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if anything Apple knocked Amazon off their high horse
And in turn screwed over the customer by raising prices. Way to go Apple. Screw you Jobs.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:28 PM   #6
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Just to be clear though, Apple didn't raise prices, they gave publishers the ability to choose prices. Some publishers think it should be $15 per book, blaming Apple for it is like blaming your Sony TV for the poor quality of TV sitcoms it displays.

It's a strange situation in some ways. The article suggests that the mere future availability of a different payment model from Apple has seen publishers revolt over the conditions at Amazon.

Some publishers might be scrambling for more profit from e-book sales and more control over prices, but ultimately consumers determine who wins. If Apple ibookstore launches full of $15.00 books those consumers will run to Amazon and the publishers with $15 books will flop. Consumers are used to those cheaper books and the market will keep the price there imo.
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Old 02-10-2010, 04:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Just to be clear though, Apple didn't raise prices, they gave publishers the ability to choose prices.
Just to be clear, Apple itself set a price range of 12.99 to 15.99 for new titles for the publishers to choose from. That 15.99 isn't an invention of the publishers at all. But of course they applaud it.

The price of the eBooks is just a means to the clear-cut end: Sell devices.

If Amazon isn't the cheapest retailer around people have no need to buy a Kindle. They may as well buy a nook or an iPad. So Steve Jobs doesn't have to worry about the higher price for his device when the average eBook price is the same as at Amazon.

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Old 02-10-2010, 09:06 AM   #8
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There's one point that I think a lot of industry wags are missing. Amazon absolutely can afford to lose the e-book wars. Based on the last financials I saw, media accounts for somewhere in the mid-40% of Amazon's revenues. "Media" includes DVDs and music. Considering how small the e-book market is, as a share of books in general, Amazon could easily afford for the whole Kindle part of the business to go *poof*. It's not likely to, of course, but the e-book war is by no means any kind of desperate last stand for the future of the company.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Thom View Post
The price of the eBooks is just a means to the clear-cut end: Sell devices.

If Amazon isn't the cheapest retailer around people have no need to buy a Kindle. They may as well buy a nook or an iPad. So Steve Jobs doesn't have to worry about the higher price for his device when the average eBook price is the same as at Amazon.
If the Kindle supported ePub and was priced aggressive enough it would not be an issue but as it stands now amazon is the only place for the technologically challenged can get their eBooks.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rcuadro View Post
If the Kindle supported ePub and was priced aggressive enough it would not be an issue but as it stands now amazon is the only place for the technologically challenged can get their eBooks.
This is a very important point when assessing the Kindle's viability, and Amazon's stake in the ereader/ebook market. Sure, other readers are slowly adding 3G access to their stores, or other ebook sources, but none can really challenge the absolute ease for readers of any (or none) technical level to buy ebooks at Amazon using the Kindle. This pool of the technologically challenged reading public has become accustomed to this model of ebook buying, and probably will not be thirsting for an iPad.
Add to this Amazon's professed intention to increase the Kindle's usability for visually disabled readers, which I haven't seen any other ereader address, and you have another strong buying base.
These 2 buying groups have to be factored in when discussing Amazon's survival in the ebook market.
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:22 PM   #11
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If most publishers move to the same model and eBook prices across all sellers go up, or at least are all the same, my fear then is that eReaders as a whole might suffer as people end up buying iPads either simply because it is Apple, or because they do more than a dedicated reader.

What if Amazon put Epub capability on the Kindle? Or even switched its format completely and sold mainly ePub. Would that make it more of an "Apple vs everyone else" battle?
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