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iPad seen cutting Kindle's e-book share from 90% to 35%

updated 08:30 am EST, Wed February 17, 2010

Apple, Google to whittle Amazon market share

The iPad and a more concerted effort from Google will cut the Amazon Kindle's share of the e-book field by two thirds, Credit Suisse analyst Spencer Wang said in a report issued Tuesday. He believes Apple's entry into the field has "stoked fears" about the growth of the Kindle and that this, combined with Google Books, will drop Amazon's e-book sales share from a near-monopoly 90 percent today to just 35 percent within five years.

Wang expects Amazon's first challenge to be the mandatory price hike following an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the agency pricing model demanded by Macmillan and now publishers like Hachette. The increases put Kindle book prices roughly on par with expected iBookstore prices and no longer let Amazon dictate the market.

The analyst also floats recently circulating rumors of Google co-developing a Chrome OS-based tablet with HTC, although he appears to confuse a conceptual design shown by Google's Chromium team with a production device. Google has publicly stated that any Chrome OS devices won't show until the second half of 2010 and that most of these are more likely to be netbooks.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Nothing but FUD, especially the part on the Google tablet.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Less than 35%

    I don't know the exact percentage but Amazon sells way more books on the iPhone/Touch platform than it does on its own Kindle, with this in mind it probably already is 35% and not 90%. Its a good thing they can keep selling there books on the iPad.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lofty projections for a product that

    hasn't even shipped yet. It's rather amusing that for a product some commenters consider a MAJOR FAIL, that the iPad will capture so much of the tablet industry. I'm curious as to how many users the Notion Ink Adam will capture. That tablet seems to be the high-tech users' ultimate non-Windows device of choice due to the hardware, connectivity and long battery life of nearly 30 hours. It does look impressive, but I sort of doubt the company's marketing ability. Supposedly it will ship in June at some low-ball price ($350?).
    The iPad should easily jump into the lead and cruise away from any other tablet device, thanks to iTMS and the App Store. It will get a huge push from the Apple retail stores and with content providers already jumping on board, the iPad should be a quick hit.

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    35% is optimistic

    I'd be surprised if 5 years from now Amazon remains more than a niche player in the hardware business. The Kindle is just a gross waste of time and resources for Amazon. What they should be pouring 100% of their effort in is developing their eBook buyers' online community and making sure that the Amazon eBook store is in every computing platform out there. I normally hate companies that resort to legal maneuvering but they have to get their cadre of lawyers ready for the day when Apple excludes the Kindle store from the iPad. I don't think Apple is that stupid but you never know.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Way off

    Amazon only sold a few million in a few years. Apple is expected to sell a few million THIS year. So the 35% is likely to be reached this year or next year.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Way off

    Amazon only sold a few million in a few years. Apple is expected to sell a few million THIS year. So the 35% is likely to be reached this year or next year.

    They're talking BOOKS, not DEVICES!

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    near Zero chance Apple will have 50% share

    This prediction of Amazon dropping from 90% to 35% because of Apple - don't take that ro mean, Apple is picking up that 55% Amazon loses.

    Fat chance.

    I have an iPad coming tomorrow - I like it, and I expect it to be a player in e-books.

    Apple isn't going to dominate the market from the high end. $499 is their floor, and e-book surveys consistently show people want to jump in at the $99 price point.

    Apple is not going to own this market - they will be wildly profitable as an upper end niche player - and hey, owning the upper end is FANTASTIC for the bottom line.

    The analyst made his conjecture, I'll make mine, in 5 years, Amazon will be ahead of Apple in market share - because they are book seller, and Apple is not. Both companies are technology "smart", Amazon a little smarter - they started sooner, and focused more - but Apple is a force, and their late entry will be very clever, and highly desirable - if you have the money to play in the Apple world.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    bad analysis

    "Amazon only sold a few million in a few years"

    It doesn't matter how often this is refuted as bad thinking, it keeps coming up.

    The IBM PC only sold a few hundred thousand units in its first year.

    So WHAT? They were starting a new market.

    The e-book market is nascent, but the Amazon Kindle, while not the first device sold, it is the first success story - it made this market. They did a fantastic job.

    Yes, the market as a whole is growing now, and Android devices, Apple's device, and gasp, even a future Microsoft device, are going to be carving their share.

    But critiquing Amazon for essentially inventing this market...good grief.

    That few million is amazing because it was the FIRST few million, and they got this ball rolling enough that Apple took it seriously.

    The thing about Amazon, is they are loved as a bookseller - thats going to be important, Apple is going to distinguish itself for a while with a quality product - but as the various OS's catch up - that really won't be a differentiator - not in 5 years, it won't be.

    Then Amazon's props in this industry, along with the current fear of their near monopoly status dissipates - you'll see Amazon drop, then rebound. They will be the major player after things shake 2 cents.

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