Amazon just hit the Android digital shelves with an update to the app for that platform. Apart from adding voice search and Wikipedia, there was also a nice big fat number hidden in their release documents. 700,000 to be exact.
You just know that there's trouble brewing for a product when their ads stop touting its features and start pointing out the perceived faults of a competitor's wares. If you're looking for an example, you needn't look any further than Amazon's latest ad for their revamped Kindle. Instead of talking about what makes the Kindle a decent reader--features such as its new lighter weight, crisper screen fonts, increased storage and free WebKit-based browsing--they focus on the glare of the iPad's full color screen and higher price point.
There can only be one... or in this case, two, if you're talking about the current state of the e-book reader market. The always insightful Ars Technica has posted an interesting read on the state of the e-book reader. The broad strokes? The iPad and the Kindle bring da noise like no one else for the time being.
Their hardware may not be magical or revolutionary, but you have to hand it to Amazon. They do know how to rock the e-book market. According to CNET's David Carnoy, Apple's iPad and iBook Store might be the new hotness, but despite the hype surrounding the device and Cupertino's new literary initiative, Amazon still controls approximately 70-80 % of the e-book market.
If our calculations are correct, that's one heck of a lot of copies of a Million Little Pieces.
Barnes and Noble pushed its Nook app live to Android today, so mobile users that have decided to stick with Google can now choose between Amazon's Kindle app and B&N for their reading-on-the-go endeavors. Additionally, iOS device owners have also been given a little treat through the Nook app.
Even though Apple is taking on Kindle, Amazon is making it clear that they are still selling their beloved e-Ink devices. The day before the Apple quarter-end earnings call, Amazon made an announcement of its own: they sell 1.8 eBooks for every hardback book. This is quite a feat for a device that the news would have as dead in the water.
Here's some beautiful news to our ears: tests taken among a 24-person sample group suggest that reading an e-book takes more time than reading a regular ole' book, and the iPad is actually easier to read than a Kindle device.
Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group studied the differences between the three book mediums and found that reading a short Hemingway story on the iPad took 6.2 percent more time to read than a book. The Kindle 2, on the other hand, took 10.7 percent more time to read. Test subjects gave the iPad a score of 5.8, the Kindle a 5.7 and the book a 5.6.
Amazon.com has announced an update to their universal Kindle app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad which now allows users to enjoy embedded video and audio clips within KIndle books. Best of all, it doesn’t require downloading an update to the app itself.
You knew it had to happen. With the iPad shaking up the e-reader market by bringing to users full color screens, the ability to watch movies, surf the Internet, and run all the apps that the iPhone runs, the e-ink product makers have to be feeling the heat. Now Barnes & Noble and Amazon are slashing prices on their e-readers with two different strategies that may or may not succeed.
Many have tried--and failed--to reinvent the book in digital form. It took the powerhouse that is Amazon to reinvigorate the idea of e-books, and when it released the Kindle, gadget nerds and book lovers rejoiced. But let’s not forget that Amazon’s roots are in selling stuff (books in particular), not building hardware. That’s why the company is piggybacking on the infrastructure it built to sell e-books to Kindle owners, first with an app for iPhone users and now with Kindle for your Mac desktop. It’s all about selling virtual books by the truckload.