Why the iPad is Good for Amazon But Bad for Every Other eBook Device Vendor

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Image courtesy of Apple

Here’s my take on Apple’s iPad iBooks app and iBookstore without even seeing or trying it. Stay with me here! Here’s my assumptions:

1. Apple’s iBookstore will provide a purchasing environment and process similar to iTunes and be comfortable and familiar to millions of iPhone and iPod touch owners.
2. The iBooks reader app will be, at the very least, a half decent experience

Assuming these two assumptions are correct, let’s continue on…

1. Casual book readers (like me) who were on the fence about buying a single function ebook reader device like the Kindle will buy their couple of books per year to read on an iPad.
2. Serious book readers (people who read at least one book every 4 to 6 weeks) will continue to be Amazon Kindle users.
3. This casual/serious ebook reader split will resemble the Nintendo DS vs. other game consoles split. There are many more casual readers/gamers than series readers/gamers. It may be that just as many books are sold through the iBookstore as Amazon because of this dichotomy.
4. As color ebook-like content becomes available (think technical books and graphic novels), the iPad’s color screen will have a definite advantage. I think the iPhone comic book reader apps are going to see a spike when the iPad hits the streets in a few months.
5. Amazon will improve Kindle for iPhone to produce Kindle fo iPad. After all, Amazon’s main business is to sell content. Why should it matter if it is read on a Kindle or iPad?
6. The eBook market will be a win-win relationship as far as Apple and Amazon are concerned. Other ebook device makers, however, may want to carefully consider what their next steps are (think deep discounts). The eBook device market just became a two horse race.

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