Amazon frantically phoned publishers as Steve Jobs unveiled iPad

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    Steve covers his bases - again.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    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/
  • Reply 3 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    The writing's on the wall . . .
  • Reply 5 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    The Kindle DX at $489 won't look so good to consumers. Amazon should be scrambling to make some changes there.
  • Reply 9 of 50
    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
  • Reply 10 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    In my best Nelson voice, "Ha-Ha!"
  • Reply 12 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    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?
  • Reply 14 of 50
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    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.



  • Reply 15 of 50
    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!
  • Reply 16 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,733member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,733member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,733member
    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?
  • Reply 20 of 50
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    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.
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