Amazon under pressure as eBook lock-down feels iPad effect

Amazon continues its mammoth effort to combat what it sees as the huge threat to its Kindle market posed by Apple’s iPad, now it transpires the company was on the phone to major publishers within moments of Apple’s introduction of its product in January.

Amazon started calling publishers before Steve Jobs had even left the stage at the iPad event, according to the New York Times. The company was attempting to find out what Apple offered and what publishers had agreed to offer Apple.

Amazon’s been trying to make publishers agree to deals which would have made Kindle books as expensive (or cheap) as those provided to any other eBook platform.

This attempt was stymied by Apple straight out the gate, with the Cupertino company forcing a move to an agency model, but the clause remains with Amazon attempting to secure a guarantee its customers will always get the best price for newspapers, books or magazines in electronic format.

The NYT reveals many publishers have signed-up – but only to monthly contracts – this means they can demand a change in deal whenever they like.

“To avoid losing their current subscribers on the Kindle, some publishers are considering signing the new Amazon contract now and offering a free, limited application for their content on the iPad” the report explains.

When Amazon’s Kindle can offer a full-colour screen, a tried and tested development environment and the kind of marketshare of the iPhone ecosystem, then publishers may ship paid products that act the same across all devices.

Amazon product can display richer types of media, publishers could release a paid product that looks and works the same across multiple devices,

“As one publishing executive put it to me, in the digital realm, it feels like we’re at the beginning of a multiyear war over pricing and product features,” says the New York Times.

1 thought on “Amazon under pressure as eBook lock-down feels iPad effect

  1. James Katt

    Amazon can’t win.

    The iPad can not only read every Amazon eBook, it can read all the others as well.

    What pundits don’t realize is the the iPad is NOT limited by DRM when it comes to eBooks. The iPad uses EVER DRM. Which means it CAN READ EVERY EBOOK, no matter where you bought it. There is no other eBook reader than can do this.

    What pundits also don’t realize is that publishers on the iPad can charge ANYTHING THEY WANT for an eBook. It is NOT limited to $14.99. The reason this is so is that books can be sold as apps on the iPad. In fact, there are already over 29,000 books sold this way. This opens up the iPad for Textbooks, Technical Books, Medical Books, etc. These are books that are generally NOT discounted and are very expensive to both produce and sell. They also account for most of the profit for many publishers. You will never see these books on the Kindle. But these books are not only possible, they are already sold on the iPad.

    By nature of its ability to read ANY EBOOK, the iPad user is FREED from DRM limits that constrain every other eBook reader like the Kindle and Sony’s eBook Reader.

    The iPad user has the FREEDOM TO READ ANY EBOOK.

    This is why Amazon cannot win.

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