eBook Sales: Today Amazon, tomorrow the world
Sales of eBooks continue to power ahead. Amazon, the world's leading on-line book retailers, are now selling more ebooks than paperbacks. It's yet another important milestone in the inexorable transition to digital media. Only last year the company said that ebooks had stormed ahead of hardbacks; now it is the paperback hurdle that has fallen.
There's no doubt the Kindle device has been a huge success, but the real drivers of the latest figures must be the Kindle apps for iPhone, Android, PC, Mac and Blackberry. The whole Amazon eco-system is just so user-friendly and universal that I don't hold out much prospect of realistic competition. Not even from Apple, I fear.
Never shy about issuing impressive statistics (unlike Amazon, who talk in vague comparisons) Apple have been unusually reticent when it comes to the iBookStore. How is it doing, I wonder? Certainly the casual iPad or iPhone user will buy from Apple simply because it is there and is convenient; but any keen book reader will have given up by now and moved over to Amazon.
The ebook revolution is proceeding at a much faster pace that pundits suggested. Book stores are being squeezed unmercifully and will soon go the way of the music stores. In five years, I predict, physical books will be a relative rarity and ebooks will have become the norm.