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Old 07-12-2010, 01:43 AM   #1
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Which eBook stores work with which eReaders?

I was trying to map out in my mind what options I'd have, in terms of sources for buying books, and the implications in terms of consequent limitation on platforms I'm likely to read books on. I came up with this, a bit arbitrary, but:



It shows the eBookstores, and then which of the eReaders can handle (DRM) content puchased at the Bookstore. I did what I could to figure this out correctly, but it's not always easy, so don't take this as gospel, feel free to correct me if I got something wrong. I discounted anything that got too exotic, stripping the DRM, running through conversion software, etc., just basically move the file to the device kinds of things.

One aspect that kind of struck me as ironic, is that the Apple bookstore may be one of the worst places to buy from, cross-compatibility wise, but other than the PC, the iPad was one of the best readers, in terms of support. Kind of ironic, given the Beta-vs-VHS thing going on between Amazon and B&N/Borders/Sony, I guess they missed the fact that by trying to support the Apple iPhone/iPad, and not help the competition, they maybe helped Apple sell eReaders in place of their own offerings. I don't think customers are going to be too hung up loading up different store/readers on an iPad, they'll buy from whomever is cheapest, supports the other platforms they have/want. I know there are a lot of Sony fans out there, but they're kind of weak on the Mobile phones front, seems like it's a weak strategy compared to the others right now. But if you buy an Apple iPad as your eReader, then you can download content from most of the majors, Amazon, B&N, Borders, etc. Interesting.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:49 AM   #2
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Market Share?

I wonder if anyone has a pointer to eBookstore market shares, right now. I've seen numbers as high as 90% for Amazon, but it seems like with the Nook getting some traction now, Apple iPad out, that would have had to come down. Although it may be that the iPad, despite its sale numbers, hasn't established itself well enough just yet, or if people are using the new Kindle apps on iPad in lieu of the iBook store. Probably the Borders store is too new to have done much just yet, too. Not that Kindle has weakened, with the new Android Ap out, Amazon has really plugged a lot of gaps, they've pretty much got things blanketed, even color eReaders by virtue of supporting the iPad (although hard to say if they leverage the technology much just yet). I wanted to order the bookstores by market share, but could not, because I could not find anything much there.

Last edited by pwjone1; 07-12-2010 at 01:50 AM. Reason: added missing sentence
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pwjone1 View Post
I wonder if anyone has a pointer to eBookstore market shares, right now.
I have not seen anything authoritative. There are claims that B&N (which includes FictionWise and eReader) has 20% of the US ebook market, see for example Barnes & Noble Captures 20% of E-Book Market. In any case, they probably are number 2 after Amazon, with the new entry Apple likely 3rd at perhaps 10% (it is not clear if this will be sustained over time, or is just millions of new iPad owners buying one ebook each). Sony presumably has a few percentage points, but everyone else is very small.
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:42 AM   #4
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I have not seen anything authoritative. There are claims that B&N (which includes FictionWise and eReader) has 20% of the US ebook market, see for example Barnes & Noble Captures 20% of E-Book Market. In any case, they probably are number 2 after Amazon, with the new entry Apple likely 3rd at perhaps 10% (it is not clear if this will be sustained over time, or is just millions of new iPad owners buying one ebook each). Sony presumably has a few percentage points, but everyone else is very small.
Interesting. 20%? Could be. I saw the Borders projection was out at 17%, after a year. Hard to know if they'll make that. When I walk into a B&N these days, the Nook display is front and center, hard to miss it, and it sounds like B&N is getting the people-buy-more-eBooks thing that Amazon saw. Still, one wonders if B&N and Amazon in duking it out have forgotten too much about Apple can do to a market (and has, already, with the new book pricing model). I would not be surprised to see subsidized eReaders taken down to the $100-$125 (6") range by Christmas, because of all this. After all, we've not even seen the Google Android/Chrome tablets weigh in yet, and they'll probably be priced under the Apple iPad, when they hit the marketplace.
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