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Amazon frantically phoned publishers as Steve Jobs unveiled iPad

post #1 of 51
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Apple chief executive Steve Jobs was still standing on stage addressing an auditorium full of media reps last month when higher-ups at Amazon began phoning publishers in an effort to extract details on the deals they were given to supply content on the new iPad device he was touting.

The move came as the online retailer and eBook reader pioneer was pressing its publisher partners to agree to long-term licensing deals that would guarantee Amazon Kindle owners would always be afforded the lowest possible price for content, in exchange for publishers seeing higher revenues from each sale, according to the New York Times.

But as fate would have it, Jobs -- the so-called king of new media -- would use his leverage, and that of the iTunes Store's distribution model, to persuade many book publishers to price their most popular content for the iPad inline with that offered for the Kindle.

As an added twist, those publishers -- including Macmillan, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins -- agreed to price bestsellers between $12.99 and $14.99 for the iPad, then turned around and demanded the same structure from Amazon. This translated into a cost increase for Kindle bestsellers from their historical $9.99 fetching price, spurring a price war between the online retailer and book publishers.

As it stands, a good percentage of Amazon's e-publishing contracts still reportedly operate on a month-to-month cycle, as those publishers are constantly seeking more flexibility to market their content. Meanwhile, the retailer's discussions with newspapers and magazine are said to be more complicated.

According to the Times, this group of publishers now finds itself torn between the allure of offering more advance, full-color, and media rich content on the iPad with the prospect of losing existing subscribers to the Kindle's black-and-white E-Ink medium.

"[So], to avoid losing their current subscribers on the Kindle, some publishers are considering signing the new Amazon contract now and offering a free, limited application for their content on the iPad," the newspaper reported. "At a later date, when an Amazon product can display richer types of media, publishers could release a paid product that looks and works the same across multiple devices."

The move is said by one unnamed publishing executive to exhibit all the signs of an ensuing price war for digital print content that could extend for years on end.
post #2 of 51
Steve covers his bases - again.
post #3 of 51
Kindle's current installed base won't matter if the iPad takes off. Apple will likely match the Kindle installed base in the first year IMHO and then after that the Kindle is a footnote.

That's ignoring porting the iBook store to existing iPod Touch and iPhones.

I agree with the analysis that there's likely no more than around 1.3M Kindles sold.

http://digitalbookworld.com/2010/how...lly-been-sold/
post #4 of 51
My money is on Apple. My wife has a Kindle. She likes all things Apple, like me, but was skeptical at the start. She LOVES her Kindle, and at first did not even consider the iPad. Over the last few weeks, she started leaning towards getting the WiFi version. Yesterday, she realized that she might as well wait for the 3G/WiFi version. BUT, she will try it out at the Apple Store first... maybe...

I suspect that once she gets her hands on it and loads the Kindle App on it for her Kindle books, the Kindle itself will be gathering dust.
post #5 of 51
The writing's on the wall . . .
post #6 of 51
One weakness of the iPad is that without the 3G data plan, the user is dependent on WiFi to download paid content, including books, magazines, etc. Not an issue if I am at home or work.

However, when I travel I would like to get this content, especially for airplane flights, etc. Also when traveling overseas, it would be convenient to download books, newspapers... something the Kindle can do.

Hopefully, Apple will be able to cut the same carrier deals that Amazon. Thus, I can have an iPad with 3G but no monthly fees and use it to download paid content. I am tired of monthly bills for all kinds of service like phone, internet, cable, wireless phone + data plan, magazines subscriptions, newspapers, etc... looks like it never ends.
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

One weakness of the iPad is that without the 3G data plan, the user is dependent on WiFi to download paid content, including books, magazines, etc. Not an issue if I am at home or work.

However, when I travel I would like to get this content, especially for airplane flights, etc. Also when traveling overseas, it would be convenient to download books, newspapers... something the Kindle can do.

Hopefully, Apple will be able to cut the same carrier deals that Amazon. Thus, I can have an iPad with 3G but no monthly fees and use it to download paid content. I am tired of monthly bills for all kinds of service like phone, internet, cable, wireless phone + data plan, magazines subscriptions, newspapers, etc... looks like it never ends.

Quite frankly, in this day and age, relying strictly on WiFi (without option to tether to a mobile device) is kind of a deal-breaker. Speaking for myself, I'll be getting the 3G version.

I've been tethering my MBP to my iPhone for quite some time now when on the road. Love it.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

One weakness of the iPad is that without the 3G data plan, the user is dependent on WiFi to download paid content, including books, magazines, etc. Not an issue if I am at home or work.

However, when I travel I would like to get this content, especially for airplane flights, etc. Also when traveling overseas, it would be convenient to download books, newspapers... something the Kindle can do.

Hopefully, Apple will be able to cut the same carrier deals that Amazon. Thus, I can have an iPad with 3G but no monthly fees and use it to download paid content. I am tired of monthly bills for all kinds of service like phone, internet, cable, wireless phone + data plan, magazines subscriptions, newspapers, etc... looks like it never ends.

It would have been best for Apple, since the iPad doesn't have yearly contract issues, to have the 3G on every model even if it's not enabled. Then in 6 months when a user decides they want 3G they just go get a SIM from AT&T.

I plan to get the Wifi version, but I'm sure from time to time I'll regret not having 3G. (Of course, I'm saving $30/month too.) Would be nice if the iPhone could tether for those odd occasions I need a quick download outside of Wifi.
post #9 of 51
The Kindle DX at $489 won't look so good to consumers. Amazon should be scrambling to make some changes there.
post #10 of 51
I suppose the writing is on the wall...

but, although I don't have a Kindle (yet) I have seen the eInk display and much prefer it for reading text to any shiny colour display.

I don't imagine the Kindle's display being technically better for reading will have much impact though...

Anyway, I'd only get the Kindle for reading wikipedia — I don't like the DRM thing on the books (I have been known to lend/give away books).

The iPad will surely be good for something (maybe? ) so I expect it'll do fine. Not sure how the Kindle will do.


Quote:
The Kindle DX at $489 won't look so good to consumers. Amazon should be scrambling to make some changes there.

Hoping the price drops drastically
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Quite frankly, in this day and age, relying strictly on WiFi (without option to tether to a mobile device) is kind of a deal-breaker. Speaking for myself, I'll be getting the 3G version.

I've been tethering my MBP to my iPhone for quite some time now when on the road. Love it.

At least where I live, AT&T's 3G is too darn slow to be of much use on even the iPhone. Anything big enough to benefit from the iPad's screen might as well be wi-fi only anyway, as it'll load too slow to be useful. If I pick up an iPad, it'll likely be sans 3G, as that would likely just be $130 wasted.
post #12 of 51
In my best Nelson voice, "Ha-Ha!"
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post #13 of 51
I'm going to buy two. I will get the max'd wifi version first and then get the 3G version when it comes out. Thank God the State Department posted me in a country where unlimited 3G data means unlimited with no hidden restrictions. It is not hard to make a micro-sim. Get some precision scissors, take your time and voila. A micro-sim in less than a minute.
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post

.... but I'm sure from time to time I'll regret not having 3G. (Of course, I'm saving $30/month too.)

Why would you be necessarily spending $30/month just because you buy the iPad with the 3G option?
post #15 of 51
I have a template on my desktop ready to use and a 3G SIM in a USB dongle, ready to cut up.

Wait until Apple deals with Australian book publishers, they are notoriously protective of their market, first with book imports and now with electronic books.

As it stands now eBooks can only be released six months after the release of the paper edition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

I'm going to buy two. I will get the max'd wifi version first and then get the 3G version when it comes out. Thank God the State Department posted me in a country where unlimited 3G data means unlimited with no hidden restrictions. It is not hard to make a micro-sim. Get some precision scissors, take your time and voila. A micro-sim in less than a minute.
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post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Quite frankly, in this day and age, relying strictly on WiFi (without option to tether to a mobile device) is kind of a deal-breaker. Speaking for myself, I'll be getting the 3G version.

I've been tethering my MBP to my iPhone for quite some time now when on the road. Love it.

Agreed 3g model it is!
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

One weakness of the iPad is that without the 3G data plan, the user is dependent on WiFi to download paid content, including books, magazines, etc. Not an issue if I am at home or work.

For downloading books and magazines, why is having a 24/7 connection all that important? I'd think you could download what you want at home, your hotel, or perhaps a coffee shop, and then enjoy it offline the rest of the day.

The main reason I think 3G is important is for all the other capabilities the iPad will have (ie web browsing, email, etc.). For this usage, comparisons to the Kindle are moot since it's web browsing capabilities are a joke in comparison.
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to the Times, this group of publishers now finds itself torn between the allure of offering more advance, full-color, and media rich content on the iPad with the prospect of losing existing subscribers to the Kindle's black-and-white E-Ink medium.

"[So], to avoid losing their current subscribers on the Kindle, some publishers are considering signing the new Amazon contract now and offering a free, limited application for their content on the iPad," the newspaper reported. "At a later date, when an Amazon product can display richer types of media, publishers could release a paid product that looks and works the same across multiple devices."

I think it's pretty foolish to bet on the Kindle having more units than the iPad... in two years it's going to be "Kindle who?" if Amazon doesn't dramatically change direction. A picture of the Kindle will be in the dictionary under "niche" - geeks will lament it's demise but the majority of todays population that doesn't even know it exists certainly won't miss it. Color and motion trump a slow, high contrast screen. And as Steve points out, 10 hours is far more than enough battery life - how hard is it to plop the iPad in it's dock when you get home? And having borrowed a friends Kindle for a couple of days, I don't see how it's display is a vast improvement. Perhaps I just live in a cave, but it relies totally on ambient light and has a fairly narrow viewing angle to get the best contrast. I'm not impressed, certainly not enough to pay that much for something that can only really display text.
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinh View Post

Anyway, I'd only get the Kindle for reading wikipedia I don't like the DRM thing on the books (I have been known to lend/give away books).

So why are you getting a Kindle again? Plus the DX (and maybe the smaller one now, I don't pay that much attention to the Kindle) can accept PDFs now so you can put more than just Wikipedia on it DRM free.

But really, if you aren't going to buy books from Amazon that makes it even more of a niche product then it is - just doesn't make sense at all.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Why would you be necessarily spending $30/month just because you buy the iPad with the 3G option?

Poor self control?
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post

It would have been best for Apple, since the iPad doesn't have yearly contract issues, to have the 3G on every model even if it's not enabled. Then in 6 months when a user decides they want 3G they just go get a SIM from AT&T.

.

Naw. The way they did it, in six months when a user decides they want 3G they just go and get a new 'Pad from Apple.

Never underestimate Apple's marketing skills. They are masterful.
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

For downloading books and magazines, why is having a 24/7 connection all that important? I'd think you could download what you want at home, your hotel, or perhaps a coffee shop, and then enjoy it offline the rest of the day.

I don't disagree, but I note that is exactly what was done in the 1990's, by syncing a Palm Pilot.

I sometimes get amazed surfing Google News on my iPhone, thinking back to the days when I used to sync with several news sources in the AM, and have that "new" content for the rest of the day. It seems so quaint, so 20th Century at this point.

That being said, I have a couple of dozen novels on the iPhone right now, and several unwatched movies, all synced onto it just like the old Palmpilot days.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post

It would have been best for Apple, since the iPad doesn't have yearly contract issues, to have the 3G on every model even if it's not enabled. Then in 6 months when a user decides they want 3G they just go get a SIM from AT&T.

I plan to get the Wifi version, but I'm sure from time to time I'll regret not having 3G. (Of course, I'm saving $30/month too.) Would be nice if the iPhone could tether for those odd occasions I need a quick download outside of Wifi.

I too will be going WiFi only even though there will be a few times I miss the 3G. But being in Canada where my data plan choices are the utterly useless Bell or Rogers, I have no hope at all for either a) cheap plans (like AT&Ts $14.99), or b) no contract. Then again, there will also be no books for us Canucks anyway to begin.

Means I can get my iPad a month ahead of the 3G folks though.
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post #24 of 51
If you buy an iPad to read books, then you either don't read a lot or don't value your eye balls.

People who will be buying an iPad won't be reading on the like Kindle readers read. I have a Kindle 2 and me using it to read and buy books won't change unless when I try out an iPad something is different that I am not seeing. Like an e-ink display.

In the meantime, I will be getting an iPad for all the other reasons besides reading a book.
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post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

If you buy an iPad to read books, then you either don't read a lot or don't value your eye balls.

and you know this for a fact because you have an ipad.

oh wait.

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post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

and you know this for a fact because you have an ipad.

oh wait.

Oh wait, they released the specifications on the display. Oh man, what a concept!
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post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

If you buy an iPad to read books, then you either don't read a lot or don't value your eye balls.

People who will be buying an iPad won't be reading on the like Kindle readers read. I have a Kindle 2 and me using it to read and buy books won't change unless when I try out an iPad something is different that I am not seeing. Like an e-ink display.

In the meantime, I will be getting an iPad for all the other reasons besides reading a book.

People spend 8+ hours a day working on worst displays. I've been spending much more every day working on my computer for the last 15 years and my eye sight didn't change. My doctor told me as long as I keep my eyes moist, keep the display at reasonable distance, and avoid squinting I will be fine.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

If you buy an iPad to read books, then you either don't read a lot or don't value your eye balls.

People who will be buying an iPad won't be reading on the like Kindle readers read. I have a Kindle 2 and me using it to read and buy books won't change unless when I try out an iPad something is different that I am not seeing. Like an e-ink display.

In the meantime, I will be getting an iPad for all the other reasons besides reading a book.

And since the vast majority of e-books is read from a PC screen, and not from a Kindle...
post #29 of 51
I'm imagining Amazon frantically dialing all the publishers, then finally reaching HarperCollins, who starts screaming "Show me the money! SHOW ME THE MONEY!!"
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

One weakness of the iPad is that without the 3G data plan, the user is dependent on WiFi to download paid content, including books, magazines, etc. Not an issue if I am at home or work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Quite frankly, in this day and age, relying strictly on WiFi (without option to tether to a mobile device) is kind of a deal-breaker. Speaking for myself, I'll be getting the 3G version.

I'm in the same boat. Without a 3G option the iPad could have never been an option for me. I wasn't expecting the very nice contract free option but speculated that there would have to be a WiFi-only version and a 3G+WiFi version. I had hoped they would follow the Kindle in this area and allowed for every model to come with 3G with instant access to the iBookstore, App Store, and iTunes Store, but without access to the internet unless you paid for the monthly data service.

It would have nice to have magazines and newspapers downloaded to your iPad the night before, waiting for you when you picked it up without having to do anything else, like when you receive them at your doorstep or in the mail. This would have been the "killer app" for me.

Quote:
I've been tethering my MBP to my iPhone for quite some time now when on the road. Love it.

I had been doing that and getting over 3Mbps in my current area, but something went awry. I know I clicked DL only on the last iPhone OS update, but it installed it, too, wiping out my tethering profile. Oh well, c'est la vie.
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post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post

II plan to get the Wifi version, but I'm sure from time to time I'll regret not having 3G. (Of course, I'm saving $30/month too.) Would be nice if the iPhone could tether for those odd occasions I need a quick download outside of Wifi.

Just to make sure this is clear, the 3G iPad's AT&T service is non-contractual. There is no obligation to pay for the 3G service until you need it.

PS: GPS chip only comes in 3G model, but I'm not sure if the GPS will work without the 3G service.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

...and has a fairly narrow viewing angle to get the best contrast. I'm not impressed, certainly not enough to pay that much for something that can only really display text.

I'm now hearing that as a talking point or the Kindle as if the narrow viewing angle was intended or if anyone really cares.
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post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiec View Post

I'm imagining Amazon frantically dialing all the publishers, then finally reaching HarperCollins, who starts screaming "Show me the money! SHOW ME THE MONEY!!"

That actually made me laugh at loud.

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post #33 of 51
They got to be, not doing so, just doesn't make any sense, and not coming out with it, BEFORE the iPad hits the market, is just foolish IMHO.

Now the good news is, if they are in fact working on a new kindle, that means, Apple will up the aunty quickly, (camera, iChat coming soon) which is a great thing for us Apple folks.

My question is, how much will Amazon invest in the Kindle, and for how long? I believe Apple has enough money to weather the storm (albeit a small storm) that Amazon could bring on, but is it worth it for them?

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post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncee View Post

...I believe Apple has enough money to weather the storm (albeit a small storm) that Amazon could bring on, but is it worth it for them?

I think $40B in cash is enough to weather more than a small storm.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It would have nice to have magazines and newspapers downloaded to your iPad the night before, waiting for you when you picked it up without having to do anything else, like when you receive them at your doorstep or in the mail. This would have been the "killer app" for me.

If the iPad is in range of a WiFi hotspot (your home), I don't see any reason it couldn't be set up to do this. Whether they actually implement something like this or not is a whole other story.
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

If the iPad is in range of a WiFi hotspot (your home), I don't see any reason it couldn't be set up to do this. Whether they actually implement something like this or not is a whole other story.

That would have been fine, too. Harness the power of push notifications, so when you buy a magazine or newspaper subscription and have PN turned on and each periodical's setting set to DL immediately, it would do so when it gets the info from the server that new content is available. If it had that I'd have been willing to get an iPad and pay for content that I've been getting for free for years now. Without the added convenience (and a formatting idealized for the iPad) I see no use.
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post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

IIt would have nice to have magazines and newspapers downloaded to your iPad the night before, waiting for you when you picked it up without having to do anything else, like when you receive them at your doorstep or in the mail. This would have been the "killer app" for me.

If you have WiFi at home, why can't this still happen? I don't see how 3G is required for the iPad to work as an eBook reader or magazine/newspaper reader and auto-sync as you outline above. Yes, 3G is more convenient, but hardly a requirement. And if you need it - it's optional! The real question will be, will the iPad have the smarts to sync on it's own or will you still be required to physically cable it to iTunes?

I'm glad they didn't got the way of Amazon with the Kindle on 3G data - since the Kindle is pretty much a one trick pony that pre-subsidized wireless model makes sense for the device and the carrier. There are guaranteed maximums on how much data will be transferred because of the inherent limitations of the device. The iPad can do so much more and if you thought AT&T was restrictive before with the iPhone, all Apple would have done is tick people off with all the things they couldn't do with their "free" data connection for books and magazines.

I think separating it out like they did with a non-contract model for 3G was the best thing they could have done.
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm now hearing that as a talking point or the Kindle as if the narrow viewing angle was intended or if anyone really cares.

For me it was annoying as you are totally dependent on ambient light and I found myself having to twist around to get enough light to make the screen comfortable to me. Perhaps I just live in a cave, but I was unimpressed. Give me a backlit display any day.
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

If you have WiFi at home, why can't this still happen? I don't see how 3G is required for the iPad to work as an eBook reader or magazine/newspaper reader and auto-sync as you outline above. Yes, 3G is more convenient, but hardly a requirement. And if you need it - it's optional! The real question will be, will the iPad have the smarts to sync on it's own or will you still be required to physically cable it to iTunes?

Two different thing. I did mention that I wished they'd added 3G as default like the Kindle (and Nook) but my previous comment wasn't about this requiring 3G, just the features I wish they would have added to make this product a must have for myself. I think that would have given periodicals a leg up. I agree that WiFi would work fine since most people will use it in a WiFi area, likely at home.
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post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Two different thing. I did mention that I wished they'd added 3G as default like the Kindle (and Nook) but my previous comment wasn't about this requiring 3G, just the features I wish they would have added to make this product a must have for myself. I think that would have given periodicals a leg up.

But as I pointed out there was no easy way they could do this. If they restricted the "free" 3G to just periodicals, they are being stingy bastards. Not everyone is going to be using the iPad as an eReader, and not everyone wants or needs 3G so now you have bumped up the price of every iPad.

Meh - in the end I think they did the best they could have. Let's be realistic - you only want ubiquitous 3G because the Kindle and Nook (what is that, B&N's reader?) have it. How many people really know what those are, and even if they have heard the name understand that they come with 3G and then will know enough to realize the iPad doesn't have it? It's a very niche feature Still sucks for you because it's something you desired, but there it is.

I REALLY hope the next version of the iPhone OS lets iTunes sync content over WiFi - its absolutely infuriating that I have to tether my iPhone to my computer just to sync podcasts
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