The e-book wars: Google vs. Amazon vs. Apple—and how they may duke it out
July 5, 2009 | 2:01 pm
And just how might Apple strive to displace the Amazon Kindle for the title of “iPod of e-books”?
Your thoughts? To help you out, here are two starting links and related ones:
- Google’s strategy to take out the Kindle, from iReaderreview.com. By year’s end, will Google “be selling nearly every book in the Kindle Store and also giving away a ton of books”? And could there be more extensive give-aways in 2010? Maybe. As I noted today, Amazon apparently will be inserting ads in books, and would Google want Jeff Bezos to claim that space without stiff competition? Meanwhile Google’s terms to publishers are more attractive than Amazon’s. And of course Google has Google Book Search, and the related proposed settlement if it stands, to help keep it a major power in books.
By way of disclosure, I’m a very small Google shareholder for retirement investment purposes, despite all the Google-bashing I’ve done. But forget that. As a writer published by a small house, I’m convinced that Amazon is treating small publishers and their writers like dirt if my case is typical. My paper edition is still not showing up in searches, unless you drill down, even though the Kindle one is. If enough other writers and publishers feel that Amazon is dissing them, that’s yet another challenge for Jeff in his battle with Google.
- Amazon taps its inner Apple, in Fast Company. The author, Adam Pennenberg, speculates that Apple might “muscle its way” into e-books “with a full-color multitouch-screen media tablet that not only reads books but also offers video, music, Web surfing, email, and the combined power of the iTunes and Apple App Store.” Adding to the fun, he notes the rumor that “trucks stuffed with books have been arriving on the Apple campus and leaving empty.” Ah! Stealthy scanning in action? Meanwhile GalleyCat’s Jason Boog sees significance in a little tidbit that Pennenberg mentioned—an Apple patent for page-turning among other apps. Result of this and other developments? Apple is now on GalleyCat’s list of book-related stocks, despite Steve Jobs’ famous contention that no one reads anymore.
And speaking of Apple: Palm Pre vs. iPhone 3.0: A feature by feature comparison, in Fast Company.
Also in the e-book war: Yes, Sony is in the war, too, as others have noted, and it has even teamed up with Google to provide many thousands of public domain book sin ePub. But at this point, thanks to the ease of downloading books through radio connections, the Kindle is ahead of the Sony Reader. Oh, for Sony to throw out its BBeB proprietary format and focus on ePub rather than just hope that wireless connections in the future will make it more competitive with Amazon.
Other contenders: Besides Sony, Barnes & oble and Borders are challengers.