iBooks: Kindle outselling Apple's store in big way?
According to an article on Techrunch today, Kindle is making mincemeat of iBooks. One report, admittedly only a rumour, is that Amazon is selling sixty books to Apple's one. It certainly isn't surprising that Kindle is doing better, but it is the scale of the difference that is amazing - assuming this rumour is anywhere near the truth.
On a number of occasions I've compared the two bookstores and the "eco-system" of using both formats. I like the iBooks user interface and I would love the iBookStore to succeed. But from experience I can find more of what I want on Amazon and, while I haven't made back-to-back comparisons, I believe independent reports which say the Kindle Store is cheaper. In marketing terms, though, Amazon benefits from a wide range of applications that can handle purchased books - from the Kindle reader itself through Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. That's a vast potential market. In contrast, Apple's iBookStore is a closed group restricted to iOS devices. Most buyers are probably thinking that they'd prefer to stock their libraries with books they can read in the future on any device they might own.
It will be very interesting to see statistics from the iBookStore. Apple have always been forthcoming on apps sales figures and have produced some stunners. So far, though, there has been silence on book sales (unless I've missed something) and this isn't too encouraging. I wonder if the iBookStore could be Apple's first damp squib of recent years? I hope not, if only because strong competition for Amazon must be a good thing.