Apple preparing to target Amazon with iBooks improvements?

According to anonymous sources, Apple is planning to hold a press event in New York City this month, allegedly about improvements to its iBooks platform. TechCrunch confirmed this independently with its own source, though most details such as the date and time of the event are still unknown.

The takeaway from this rumor is that Apple is preparing to target Amazon directly by using the popularity of the iPad in the tablet space. While Apple has dominated the digital music world with the iTunes Music Store, the digital book market is still largely up for grabs.

Amazon historically has attempted to succeed independently of the major book publishers by establishing its own publishing imprints and encouraging authors to publish directly to the Kindle platform. The Kindle Owners' Lending Library program gives Amazon Prime subscribers access to one book per month, but the available books to choose from is severely limited because the major book publishers are not on board.

Conversely, Apple has managed to secure alternative arrangements with book publishers and could thus be in a position to announce an iBooks update that could directly affect Amazon's interests in digital publishing. GeekWire points out that while Amazon has a vested interest in making digital books successful on the Kindle due to the Kindle Fire's low $199 price point, Apple is not similarly constrained thanks to the higher profit margins of the iPad.

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13 Comments

I don't think this would harm Amazon at all. E-ink makes the Kindle the real e-reading device, so the iPad couldn't stand a chance even if it supplied the books cheaper...

Jose_49 said,
I don't think this would harm Amazon at all. E-ink makes the Kindle the real e-reading device, so the iPad couldn't stand a chance even if it supplied the books cheaper...

Yeah but then why is Amazon selling more of the Fire than the E-ink version?

Issue here is if I buy from iBooks I can only read it on my iPad.

If I buy from Amazon I can read it on my iPad, my Kindle and my Galaxy Tab.

Either Apple has to greatly undercut Kindle book prices or open up iBooks format to other platforms.

Ibooks do seem a higher quality product then Kindles but I presume thats due to the viewing format its aimed at, LCD vs E-ink

evo_spook said,
Issue here is if I buy from iBooks I can only read it on my iPad.

If I buy from Amazon I can read it on my iPad, my Kindle and my Galaxy Tab.

I don't think that's really problem to most people. 99.9% of people probably just have one device. It's just geeks like us that have tons

THolman said,

I don't think that's really problem to most people. 99.9% of people probably just have one device. It's just geeks like us that have tons

Bad move locking yourself in to one platform, makes moving mobile OS later a horrible experience.

Exactly. I have bought 2 books on iBooks just to try it and compare it with Kindle App. All of my other purchases have been for Kindle because its a better overall value considering Amazon supports Windows, WP7, Android, BB, iOS, Mac, and then all of Amazon's own hardware.

Kindle app on my iPhone always lands on the page I left off on my iPad... iBooks never seems to sync my page number correctly so I have to always leave a bookmark. Feature wise there is nothing about iBooks that makes it more compelling than Kindle for me.

@THolman (Not sure why the reply box isn't coming up)...

People are buying them as cheap media devices, for movies, music, and sometimes books. For anyone that is a serious reader, they often have an e-ink device.

Most people and in general human eyes can't take an active lighted device for long periods of reading, especially up close reading.

Apple is messing around with Amazon instead of focusing on the next 'it' to counter Windows 8. If they don't have something to pull the market focus from Windows 8, it will relegate the iPad to what Windows did to the Macintosh.

thenetavenger said,
@THolman (Not sure why the reply box isn't coming up)...

People are buying them as cheap media devices, for movies, music, and sometimes books. For anyone that is a serious reader, they often have an e-ink device.

Most people and in general human eyes can't take an active lighted device for long periods of reading, especially up close reading.

Apple is messing around with Amazon instead of focusing on the next 'it' to counter Windows 8. If they don't have something to pull the market focus from Windows 8, it will relegate the iPad to what Windows did to the Macintosh.

Very good point! I have an iPad myself and while iBook is great and I have read a few on there, I still picked up a Kindle. E-Ink is such an impressive technology, I find myself explaining it to people with such passion haha!

I read Apple are aiming for education - Digital textbooks and the like. They'd have an advantage over the Kindle in this for sure, though what with Amazon offering a larger Kindle sometime this year it may not be an overly long-lived advantage.

Apple is announcing "something" pertaining to iBooks and Amazon "might" be scared? LOL.

If Apple sells an e-ink reading device that's better and cheaper than a Kindle, then Amazon would definitely be worried. Until then...

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