Apple Gets Controlling – My iPad Way or the Highway!

In a move reminiscent of Amazon’s most despotic market machination, Apple has ordered Lexcycle to disable its hit App Stanza’s ability to share files via the USB cable.

Read the story at VentureBeat. Conspiracy theorists whisper that it’s another step in Apple’s attempt to isolate its iPad and iPhone from the competition.  (The USB hookup would allow individuals to use non-iBook titles…so…)

Amazon owns Stanza, so definitely, it’s a turf issue. Sadly, a move like this is confirmation that Apple wants iPad to interface with iBooks alone. (At least until the hackers give it what for, yah?)

Come Apple, you know it’s all about content.

Will iPad’s Color make Kindle’s E Ink Obsolete? Not likely…

Thanks to our friend Jorgen for a link to a Huffington Post article that makes some predictions based on wild assumptions about a marketplace and technology that is barely off the drawing board. I wonder why everyone rushes to make predictions on emerging and relatively rare technology.

As much as first adopters are integral to technological developments, anyone who sells technology will tell you that they are not your average consumer. They’re technophiles willing to pay large amounts of money for all the bells and whistles, and as such, poorly suited to make generalizations from. The eBook Revolution needs time. eBook Readers have to make it into the hands of the larger audience.

And to assume that iPad is going to force color on the eBook market, is to disregard the massive backlash of dissatisfaction with the beta version of that product. If anything, iPad proves you need a lot more than color to dominate a nascent eBook marketplace. Comparison charts are nice, but one has to be cautious about making predictions on them, yah? Good God! Some of the products they’re dooming to extinction have yet to hit the market .

Amazon and Macmillan Struggle over Pricing

Take this link from Jorgen to an article at the Wall Street Journal about some nasty market moves that were made by Amazon.com and Macmillan Publishing over the last few days.

Macmillan balked at Amazon’s pricing and was rewarded by Amazon removing all Macmillan titles from their sales lists. Then, following a high level exchange AMAZON BACKED DOWN. This power shift absolutely underlines the current flux in the eBook market caused by the recent arrival of the Apple Tablet.  Amazon is doing what Macmillan wants. MacMillan wants to manipulate the market and encourage eBook Piracy. (Macmillan’s higher prices are dumb since Amazon’s $9.99 price per title is still considered too high by Kindle owners.)

The Amazon letter of surrender explains it:

“Dear Customers:

Macmillan, one of the “big six” publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases.

We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it’s reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don’t believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.

Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never expected it to be easy!

Thank you for being a customer.”

I love this line: “we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity.” Macmillan is continuing to make the same mistakes that got the rest of the traditional publishing world into so much trouble. Rather than evolve, they’re trying to force the market to follow outdated pricing structures and practices. In short, the same business model that forced traditional publishing into a decline: overpriced content, diminishing title selection, etc. etc. etc…

Incredible that Amazon would become the advocate for lower eBook prices. If anything, the arrival of the Apple Table seems to be waking the people up who made Amazon the market giant that it is.

Competition drives sales, increases selection and lowers prices.

Read Macmillan’s rebuttal at the link.

Such an exciting time in the revolution, yah?

Prediction about the Apple iPad

I know, last year it was all about the Kindle. Now it’s all about the Apple iPad and the Kindle. Keeping this in mind Daniweb’s Ron Miller offers this article “Does iPad Mean Death to Kindle?” A very interesting read.

I’m in complete agreement with Mr. Miller’s practical take on what is basically a very new (and unpredictable) industry. Like we’ve said here, the future of eBooks is not an either/or situation. And with a marketplace of many hundred millions, there is plenty of room for personal preference, and so lots of room for a wide variety of devices.

Compare Apple iPad and our old friend Kindle

CRAVE the gadget blog from CNETnews offers this cool little chart here comparing Apple iPads and Amazon Kindles as eBook Readers. Nice to see it all laid out there.

I have to say, I’m still waiting for Apple to clear the air about the Apple iPad App iBooks. We know it will read EPUB format, but what else does it read and how do you add non-Apple books.

I’ve got a feeling we can attribute the gray areas to the major publishers who signed on. Those publishing dinosaurs still believe eBook sales cannibalize hard cover sales and appear to have agreed to the iPad platform with lots of reservations and strings attached. (The eBook pricing says as much, yah?)

An Opinion on the Apple iPad

More reaction to the release of Apple’s self-described ‘game-changer’  iPad. Thanks to our friend Jorgen for this link to an opinion piece by the Telegraph’s Justin Williams entitled: “Why I don’t want an Apple iPad.” (nuff said?)

It’s just the hype-hangover talking, yah?

iBooks on the Apple iPad

It stands to reason that we’ll all be inundated with stories and articles about the Apple iPad. As the dust settles, we’re starting to get to the specifics.

Ok. We’ve all heard that it’s just a big iPhone, but it does have eBook reading capability and that’s what we were waiting to hear. PCWorld goes into more detail here about the eBook reading APP called iBook. It looks like they’re going to offer titles between $8 and $15 from five major publishers: Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group. (More about the Apple iBook pricing story here at MediaMemo. Did Apple learn from its own digital music lesson?)

The iPad also reads EPUB format, so that tells us that despite the (still-too) high eBook prices they haven’t designed themselves into a corner with proprietary formats. More as the story unfolds, yah?

Apple iPad- More at Engadget.com

Here is a link to Engadget.com (again, great job covering the launch!) where they get their hands on the Apple iPad and give it their ‘first look.’ Sounds like they are both impressed and disappointed. They’ve got a full video walkthrough too…

The eBooks with the ‘flipping’ pages looks very cool, but it’s got to eat into the battery life, yah?

More iBooks Functions at Engadget

Click Image to visit launch at Engadget Liveblog.

Here’s the eBook Shot (iBook)on Apple iPad we’ve been waiting for. (Thanks Engadget…)

Click the image to visit the launch at Engadget liveblog.