When Steve Jobs talked up iBooks earlier this year, it sounded like it had the potential to put reigning e-book champions such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon on the ropes.
However, after six months of offering up downloadable text content to capable iOS devices, it appears that the once seemingly mighty contender hasn't been able to do much more than land a few rabbit punches. Despite the iPad's rabid popularity, neither major publishers, nor the book buying public have embraced iBooks.
After more than half a year online, Apple's iBook Store is still only offering up approximately 60,000 titles. When held up against the 700,000 titles offered by Amazon for their Kindle reader software and hardware solutions, Cupertino's library looks pretty weak. Did we mention that about half of the titles available as iBooks are also available from Project Gutenberg? C'mon Steve, this is embarrassing.
Amazon released a pair of updates Tuesday to their popular universal iOS apps -- the Kindle app now lets you view pages two-up in landscape on the iPad, while the Amazon Mobile app makes price matching even easier by incorporating barcode scanning.
You’ve probably already got Amazon’s Kindle app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, or maybe your Android or Blackberry device or even your Mac or Windows computer. Heck, maybe you even have a real, live hardware Kindle! But Amazon isn’t content with stopping there, and now they’ve introduced (drum roll, please) Kindle for the Web -- well, sort of.
Oh, we love nothing more than a good juicy rumor around Mac|Life. We were devoted followers of every single tidbit in the run up to the release of the iPad and beyond. Now it looks like there could be another tablet in the running to be the iPad Killah, if these rumors about Amazon can be credited.
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.