Way back at the start of the year, I wrote an article about Apple’s iPad being a market disrupter or DOA and mentioned that I had made a prediction with the wife that 2010 was going to be the year of the eBook. I still stand by that prediction and I think we have seen significant development in the market including:
- the introduction of Border’s Kobo and the Barnes and Noble Nook,
- significant price drops by Amazon and the release of the Kindle 3,
- changes to the way Amazon splits profits with content creators to match Apple’s 30/70 split.
Of course, Apple made its entrance into the market this year and many believed that this was going to be a turning point in the history of eBooks. Perhaps that might still be true but at least within Australia the iBookStore is filled with old relics of literature (which isn’t such a bad thing if you like that sort of stuff but for others it might resemble an desert with a few tumbleweeds).
Where are the publishers and where are the eBooks?
Not being an incredible bookworm I can hardly talk but I reckon that it is important for any bookstore (online or physical) to have a wide selection of titles. Apple’s competition are streets ahead in this regard and unless Apple gets their act together in the next couple of months I can see them missing out.
What I do find irritating is that Apple (and other companies including Microsoft and Amazon) focus only on the USA for an extended period of time and go to extreme lengths to shut out the rest of the world when clearly there is a demand for a product. By the same token, releasing a stillborn product or service like the iBookStore is a slap in the face for consumers.
Anyway, my wife has happily bought a stack of eBooks from Amazon and Borders and using the respective applications on her iPad for her reading. I don’t think that Apple is going to make the market impact that everybody was expecting and when it does eventually come to the party I don’t believe we’ll see much loyalty.
eBooks are all about getting the content you want for the best price when and where you want it. Apple just isn’t in the game at the moment and as far as I am concerned they may as well have been a late scratching.