Nevertheless, how would you like to have been B&N these last couple of weeks? There you are, trying to get some enthusiasm for your newly-released Nook while Amazon is fighting for any sort of attention amidst the biggest announcement in years: Apple's iPad. Good luck with that. It kind of makes Borders look smart for staying on the sidelines and merely reselling the Sony Reader.
I came across a number of interesting articles this week and I wanted to share them here along with my thoughts on each:
Gizmodo says $9.99 ebook prices are dead. I agree...to an extent. The agency model is a good way to put the brakes on Amazon's race to the pricing bottom but as an industry we've got to get beyond simple print-to-e conversions. Let's add value, people. Otherwise, $9.99 might be the high end of what consumers will pay.
Mike Nash leaves Microsoft for Amazon's Kindle. Boy, I can't wait to see how this one plays out. It gives me hope that maybe, just maybe someone at Amazon will finally have a sense of urgency about moving the Kindle platform forward. If it seems like a long time ago when Amazon wowed everyone with Whispernet and eInk it's because it was. Not much has changed on that platform since November 2007 but maybe Nash can turn it around.
As $9.99 ebooks evaporate, the Kindle will suffer, or so says Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. He makes some good points in his article, but I'm still wondering about Amazon's tactics. Ever since they started selling $9.99 ebooks at a loss I figured they would eventually come back to publishers armed with loads of data to show why the industry needs to adopt that pricing model. After all, how long was Amazon planning to lose money on these sales? And if they wanted to make a compelling case, they should have taken it not just to publishers but to the public in general. That never happened and the iPad has already dealt a serious blow to Amazon's upper hand in all of this. This seems like an enormous strategic blunder.
Although it took Amazon more than 2 years to even consider building an app store ecosystem like the one that's made the iPhone a runaway success, maybe there's still hope for the Kindle platform after all. Jared Newman offers up these 8 Kindle apps he hopes to see. Yes, even a one-trick pony like the Kindle can benefit from add-on applications.
P.S. -- I've already mentioned that I'm ditching my Kindle for the iPad. That means I'm also completely stepping away from my Kindleville blog. Paul Higginbotham has done a great job running Kindleville for the past year or so and I'm looking for others who might want to join him in that effort. In the mean time, stay tuned for what I plan to do in the not-too-distant future on the iPad front...