This is a follow up really to my other post about why I believe Apple are forcing apps out of the App Store.
A few days after that Amazon unveiled their online version of the Kindle reader, which will allow anyone who has Kindle content to read through any web browser.
This is obviously a smart move by Amazon as it still allows them to try and sell books to iPad customers but will the added hassle now put people off?
In my opinion it has never been about existing customers of Amazon Kindle and instead Apple are looking at the people who have never bought an eBook. Therefore they don’t care if there is or isn’t a Kindle store available as an app.
Now for Amazon to get new customers on the iPad or iPhone, the process is more difficult. They obviously have lots of publicity and are known as the eBook leader. Now though, there is no direct link without going through Safari and adding a bookmark to the Home Screen. This is not natural behaviour as the App Store has mind share.
And the first time a user opens the App Store on their iPad or iPhone and even on the newer iPod touch, they are asked if they want to download the iBooks app. How long then until iBooks is pre-installed and becomes iDevice users default eBook reader?
I don’t think this will kill Kindle and the rumoured Amazon tablet may be the iPads first big competition, especially with the HP TouchPad being canned. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Do you think you’re going to use the Kindle Online or will it soon be ignored?
Unfortunately I have been without internet connection at home and wanted to write about this sooner. Apple have recently just enforced their new rules for publishers. This means if you sell anything through your app you have to do through an In-App Purchase and give a 30% cut to Apple. I’ll put some links at the bottom of this post if you want to read more about it. Anyway my post will focus on why I think Apple are doing this and it’s mainly to do with iBooks.
1. Apple want to become synonymous with eBooks
Amazon may have the biggest market-share at the moment but that’s not going to stop Apple. Look at how iTunes became associated with MP3 and this is what they will want.
2. Force publishers to let them release in other countries
Currently you can only buy from iBooks in 6 countries; USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain. While America is Apple’s biggest market (for now) I’m sure they will want to expand to the rest of Europe, South America and most importantly Asia. Seemingly this is all down to licensing agreements in other countries and this can force their hands.
3. They make 30%!
While eBooks are generally cheaper than their printed counterparts, many of the top-selling iBooks are still $9.99. So Apple get roughly $3.33 for just hosting the iBook and letting customers download it. Sounds like pretty good business to me!
So there it is, 3 simple reasons and for now they want mind about harming a small minority of consumers if in the long run they become the biggest eBook seller. They are looking to get the customers that have never heard of Kindle or downloading a book before. Will it work? I’ll tell you in a year!
I do not work for Apple but do write stuff that then goes in apps for iPhone and iPad and have four iBooks in the store. I try not to be biased.