The Kindle Kerfuffle

  • Posted: 01 February 2011 09:44 PM

    Here’s PED’s take

    The Kindle Kerfuffle

    What say gang?

    I think we need the Kindle app and it’s a great path to lead Kindle users over to an iPad/iPod/iPhone.  Without it, existing Kindle users might eventually head to another tablet (once they start to catch up to the iPad).

    As well, at least here in Canada, the iBookstore has a limited selection and higher prices for books. I rather appreciate the option.

    Would Amazon ever leave iOS due to avoid the rule to include in-app purchases as an option? They’d lose a lot of book sales here too. It’s “lose-lose” if these two can’t learn to play well together. Would Amazon satisfy the rules with a tiny button for in-app purchases on a unpopular page, or “buy” pricing in-app books 31% higher than the Amazon store?

    Also, why change now? How much of this new take has something to do with the new subscription model and The Daily? Or, is it simply a way to boost sales in the iBookstore and generate some extra revenue? I think it has something to do with fairness—Rupert asks why he can’t keep the 30% by making sales the way Amazon does? And Steve says, “because they won’t be able to do that anymore”.

  • Posted: 01 February 2011 11:21 PM #1

    I bought a Kindle in 2009 and the iPad in 2010. Really like both but like the iPad a lot more. Rarely use my Kindle anymore. But I have really enjoyed the Kindle app on the iPad (nice selection, integration with Amazon website, simple porting of all previously purchased Kindle titles).

    Potential scenarios:

    1. Amazon adds in-app purchases of books at same price as on their website. That would be terrific for me—more convenient—but probably doesn’t make business sense for Amazon. Probably won’t happen.

    2. Amazon adds in-app purchases of books at elevated prices compared to their website (assuming Apple doesn’t require consistent pricing). That would be annoying but also okay for me because (a) I would still have my existing books available on the iPad and (b) it’s really not that inconvenient to purchase new books on the Amazon website (on iPad or Mac/PC). Seems like Amazon could compromise to this position in order to avoid complete loss of millions of iPad readers. But it seems quite possible that this scenario also would lead some serious readers (but not me) to purchase the Kindle instead of the iPad (for convenience and better pricing), so iPad might lose some sales in the short term, but someone other than Amazon presumably would fill the void (i.e., offer a wide selection of books at competitive prices) within a year or two—possibly Apple itself.

    3. Amazon drops its iPad app. This probably would be a loss for Amazon and Apple, as well as their respective customers. I don’t see the rationale for Amazon doing this because the loss of Amazon on the iPad wouldn’t hurt the iPad enough to cause Apple to change its position. But I do think a lot of iPad owners would be mad at Apple for causing all their Kindle books to go away.

    I’m guessing we either end up with scenario 2 above or there is another scenario that I haven’t yet contemplated. Seems like this issue will generate some significant tension between the two companies and between the companies and their customers.

    Some people will say Apple is “evil” for enforcing this policy, but isn’t that kind of a double standard given that one can’t read iBooks items on the Kindle, even though that presumably could be enabled?

    Just my initial thoughts. Would love to hear different perspectives on the scenarios above (or potential additional scenarios).

  • Posted: 02 February 2011 12:43 AM #2

    I can’t see a scenario where the Kindle app disappears. If it does, I will become an Android customer for my next purchase, as that would instantly make all my Kindle book purchases useless. If Apple ever forces something that outrageous on it’s customers, then they will deserve every bit of customer wrath that would come their way. So I don’t buy the double standard argument. The time for that choice was BEFORE the Kindle app appeared on the iPad, not after people have spent serious money on Kindle books.

    Here in Canada, the Apple bookstore is woefully understocked. I have never made a single purchase there. Any book that I want is always cheaper at Amazon. So iBooks is a fail in my opinion.

  • Posted: 02 February 2011 12:50 AM #3

    Is this whole issue not just a bunch of unfounded speculation?

    Is there any evidence that either Amazon or Apple is considering any action that would make Kindle books stop working on iPad?

    What did I miss?

  • Avatar

    Posted: 02 February 2011 01:17 AM #4

    capablanca - 02 February 2011 04:50 AM

    Is this whole issue not just a bunch of unfounded speculation?

    Is there any evidence that either Amazon or Apple is considering any action that would make Kindle books stop working on iPad?

    What did I miss?

    You didn’t miss anythings. Those who missed the update in PED’s article (towards the bottom) I would urge to re-visit.

    It’s non-news. Of course Kindle bookstore will be available on the iPad.