Analyst: Apple Blowing Off Ebook Market

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Amazon's Kindle for the iPhone application means more than a new way to use your combination iPod and smartphone as an ebook reader, according to Gartner's Van Baker. It also means Apple doesn't have any interest in entering the ebook market, according to Computerworld.

By allowing Amazon to distribute its Kindle application through the App Store, Mr. Baker reasoned, Apple was sending the message that it won't be making its own ebook reader, or distributing ebooks itself. "The reader adds to the appeal of the iPhone platform, but it also shows that Apple clearly doesn't think that the ebook market is important," he said.

He added that Amazon's decision to release Kindle for the iPhone "is smart and will solidify their position as the go-to source for ebooks."

With Apple apparently out of the ebook market, the iPhone and iPod touch could become gateway devices for Amazon's Kindle 2. "The iPhone becomes a seeding platform for ebook distribution," Mr. Baker said. "I think a lot of people with iPhones are going to try [the Kindle reader]. When they do, some will say, 'I'd like to download directly, and I want a bigger screen, so maybe I should buy a Kindle.'"

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has previously said that his company isn't interested in jumping into the ebook market. "It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don't read anymore," he said. "Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don't read anymore."

Amazon, however, disagrees, and as long as Apple stays out of the ebook market, it has one less competitor to worry about.

 

Comments

FlipFriddle

I think the eBook market is a dead end as long as it requires that all it’s content pass through a central paid service. The technology is great, but if I have content that I want to offer, I HAVE to let Amazon take a piece. It’s more of a closed system than the “closed” system iPod haters complain about. At least with an iPod if I record my own song, I can put it on my iPod and give it to a friend of mine to put on theirs. If I create a document, there is no way to just give it to someone to put on their Kindle, or even use it on my own Kindle. Until it’s truly open, it’ll just be a curiosity. When someone puts out a PDF tablet reader that uses the e-ink technology (or whatever it’s called) that you can put anything on (paid or not) the Kindle dies.

farmboy

Agree with Flip.

Disagree with the analyst—allowing a Kindle app means absolutely nothing as far as Apple plans. Apple allowed the fart app, so what does THAT mean? Apple has no plans to buy out Beano? Some of these guys have trouble getting from point A to point B.

jdmitch

er… um… what is so controversial about Apple choosing not to enter markets that they believe will not make them money (or will not make them as much money / ROI as their core business). Uh, that’s plain old common sense.

Apple doesn’t believe developing an ebook reader will make them money. They also don’t believe that developing a netbook with make them money.

It it not obvious to anyone else that Amazon is making most of it’s money on the BOOKS sold not on the hardware itself? Ergo, their decision to bring reader capability to more platforms.

PS - FlipFriddle, have you seen the new Always Innovation Touch Netbook? Perfect for PDF based e-books, but doesn’t have e-ink. Also, PDFs can be emailed to Kindle… so there’s lot’s f ways to get content out.

Tiger

Besides the Kindle app for iPhone, there are others. I have Stanza already.

But as for a market Apple would want to enter through the hardware market, I think he’s right. No need to build another box. The Apple TV has proven that to be a niche of a niche is not so great.

josephsan

smart companies do exactly what apple could be doing here.
use stanza, kindle, as an app to measure the actual sales of ebooks. kindle numbers have been hard to come by. by putting the kindle on the iphone, what will those loyal apple customers do, how much will they spend? apple will now know first hand.
barnes & noble does it with products they carry. use another company as the guinea pig, spend next-to-nothing gathering research, then kill the competition when you release your own.
on top of that, as far as I can tell, the ibook name for laptops has been changed, freeing up that name for maybe something else that would be called ibook. of course just all speculation, but interesting for industry watching.

Amused

Fortunately, Apple is *not* infected with “Microsoft disease” — Apple doesn’t believe it has to own every possible market.

808

llowing a Kindle app means absolutely nothing as far as Apple plans. Apple allowed the fart app

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