I just read the article on the dbw website by Jeremy Greenfield, Apple’s Big Move, that talked about how the new operating system that’s being released by Apple is including iBooks and roughly 34 books for free. I took a look on my iPhone and iPad, because I had already downloaded the new operating system for both of them. Unfortunately I couldn’t really see a difference, and I’m not exactly sure how the apps are set up. I could not tell if there was anything different on either one of my devices.
What I do see in this turn of events is the possibility of Apple becoming a larger player in the e-book competition with Amazon. The devices are where the line is drawn. Every time Apple releases a new product in the realm of the iPhone six or the new generation of iPads, they immediately sell millions in a few weeks time. This ability to crush it with sales can have crossover effect once people realize that they can also use the iBooks app to quickly and efficiently purchase books and e-books. The ability to gain market share through hardware sales is one that Amazon has actually perfected.
Whereas Apple is selling a high-level technology device that everyone wants with an added bonus (iBooks), Amazon is selling a device that is not technically superior to the one that Apple produces, but the delivery of content through the KDP model is the preeminent sales structure within the competitive marketplace. This could actually turn into the heavyweight battle that was foreseen years ago between these two corporate giants. Overall I see this is a good thing.
Competition is something that keeps all corporations on their toes. If there is no competition than individual corporate structures are less likely to be on the cutting edge of innovation. Competition keeps people guessing. Competition makes research and development a needed function. Looking through the corporate history of the United States you can never have the Ying without the Yang. For Henry Ford there was Chrysler who was building cars at the same time. For Coke there was Pepsi. For Westinghouse there was GE. The best minds need to be pitted against each other to keep new products and new process innovations updating the given markets.
It will be interesting to see if this additional exposure through iBooks has an impact on e-book sales through Apple. The possibility exists that the iPhone 6 and iPad are too technologically advanced to steer large quantities of dollars in the e-book direction. There are so many different apps and things to do on these devices that reading may be something that is relegated very far down the list of functions for customers to use.
Whether Apple becomes the player that grabs more market share from Amazon has yet to be seen, but having the app and some free books could be a step in the right direction for customers yearning for another sales portal worthy of a challenge to Amazon.
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