Apple vs. Kindle vs. publishers, oh my. Do you know the background? It’s all over the web. And I posted here this week about how Apple and Amazon.com and Macmillan are wrapped up in an ebook battle. And it gets better. As I write this, Wednesday evening, the news is that Amazon gave in and put Macmillan back into the mix, but at higher prices. But I just checked the site and my favorite Macmillan book, Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded, is listed there as available through third parties only. So go figure.
I’m fascinated with all of this. Really, business strategy in action. Consider these questions, and ask yourself: if you were Steve Jobs, or Jeff Bezos, what would you do?
Apple can block the Kindle app, of course. But what will users say about that? Apple users tend to take Apple as some public resource. They’re incensed when Apple acts in its own business interest instead of the public good. Would cutting off the competition be worth the dark side mask?
I’m enjoying the spectacle. I’ve got the Kindle, I’ve got the iPhone with the Kindle app on it, and I’ll probably buy an Apple iPad for its entertainment value, form factor, and long batterly life. For ebooks the iPhone Kindle app is still my favorite, so I’ll probably use the Kindle app on the iPad too, when I get it — if Apple doesn’t block it, that is. I don’t see how the bells and whistles of the new iBook reader can be worth the extra $5. But, since it’s not shipping for a few months anyhow, I’m going to wait and watch.
And I’m especially watching the strategy play out. Several of these big players can make bold decisions that will cut off competition and annoy the hell out of buyers. Is that the way it’s going to go?
(Image credit: from Mashable’s recent post on the eBook War)