The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

iBooks vs Amazon – Apple purchasing power is levelling the playing field

I have been giving some serious thought to which ebook provider I should settle on.  I have been a loyal Amazon user for 10 years buying regular books and recently some ebooks for the last 3/4 years. 

Fast forward to a newer decision that I will give up paper books and shift to ebook only.  That decision led to which tablet and ipad is the winner there. 

That led to looking at ibooks, and I must say it stacks up very well against Amazon.  Then looking deeper I found this;

Apple’s struggle to defeat Amazon set to be exposed by European ebook inquiry

They are to lift the lid on a power struggle between the publishing industry and Amazon that could determine the shape of the book trade for years to come.

You may have noticed the price of Kindle books recently has risen to almost double the original $9.99.  This is because Apple, who have tremendous purchasing power have offerred the publishers an out against Amazon, by allowing the publishers to pass off pricing authority to their agents (Apple, Amazon).  This is interesting and the opposite of what happened with music where Apple attacked the publishers.

I have no axe to grind here.  I just want quality books and music.  I also know that too much power on one side or the other is probably not good for content creators, or purchasers. 

So even if prices are increasing that sounds positive for authors and a level playing field of competition between Apple and Amazon is a good thing for book consumers.

Bottom line, I am leaning towards ibooks for my ipad reading.

Written by Colin Henderson

February 11, 2012 at 17:49

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Do they have equally extensive selection for the books you like? Have you considered that you can run the Kindle software on the iPad (and many other platforms), but you can’t read iBooks anywhere else?

    johnphilipgreen

    February 11, 2012 at 19:33

  2. As you can imagine I considered all those things and here is some things I found/ decided:
    – Apple have sufficient resources and capability to dominate supply chains so they will be able to level the playing field with publishers. I found it interesting they are considering the publishers interests, at least to take on Amazon. I don’t expect that to remain and ebook prices will drop again at some point.
    – I did a sample check in Amazon, iBooks and Kobo. There are some books that I can only locate on 1 of the 3 and none are pervasive as yet.
    – This book that I am reading at the moment and wanted an e version, is not on Amazon, but is in ibooks – http://fukuyama.stanford.edu/origins_of_political_order
    – iBooks prices are cheaper than Amazon – despite Amazon having originated the $9.99. So while Apple upset the publisher/ distributor model, Amazon are taking more advantage.
    – finally which device … my wifes ipad has sold me. Can’t imagine carrying a book gizmo and cannot switch to web periodically or email. I will await the ipad 3 though…. hope its this summer.

    Colin Henderson

    February 12, 2012 at 19:48


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