- In January 2008, shortly after the launch of the Kindle, Apple’s Steve Jobs commented that the Kindle was “a failed concept from the top” because “nobody reads any more.”
- In January of 2010, at the event announcing the launch of the iPad, Jobs said that “Amazon has done a good job with Kindle” but that Apple was “going to stand on their shoulders” and the the successful ebook concept even further with iBooks. Several ebook platforms including Kindle, Nook, and Kobo created free Kindle Apps, all with better selection and better features than the iBooks platform, and it quickly became obvious both that Kindle would be the leading iOs ereading platform and also that Apple was either ill-prepared or unmotivated, or both, to make much of the iBooks platform.
- Early this year, Apple said it was going to change the rules for other reading apps on its iOs devices so that users would no longer be able to click on an in-app link to be taken directly, for instance, to the Kindle Store. (Well, that’s not exactly what Apple said. What Apple actually said was that it would grab 30 percent of gross proceeds from all sales generated by in-app ebook sales on platforms such as the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. 30 percent, of course, constitutes 100 percent of Amazon’s standard share of Kindle ebook sales.)
- first, that Apple actually followed through and brought this to a head; and
- second, that anyone thought it would really be an effective use of Apple’s power.
Dear Amazon.com Customer,
We’d like to update you on a change to the Kindle application that affects the way that you access the Kindle Store. In order to comply with recent policy changes by Apple, we’ve removed the “Kindle Store” link from within the app that opened Safari and took you to the Kindle Store.
You can still shop on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch–just open the Safari web browser and go to Amazon.com. (For quick access, we recommend creating a bookmark in your web browser.) Your Kindle books will be delivered to your Kindle application and automatically downloaded when you open the app. Thanks for being a Kindle customer.
- Just open your iPad’s Safari browser and click on or enter this link – http://amzn.to/Kindle-on-iOs
- When the Kindle Store page opens on your iPad browser, just click on the little icon just to the left of the browser’s URL entry field, and select “Add to Home Screen” from the pulldown menu that pops up, as in the screenshot at right.
- Then just find the new Kindle Store icon on your iPad’s Home display, tap it twice so you can move it, and use your fingertip to move it next to your Kindle App. (Note: While you’re at it, you may also want to move the iBooks icon to the same general area, for days when you want to buy expensive books at the prices Steve Jobs feels you should pay for them.)
But Wired Epicenter’s Tim Carmody concludes that “Apple’s new rules haven’t knee-capped Amazon in the slightest. Far from it. In fact, Apple’s given them a gift….”
Whatever the case, it is certainly hard to imagine that Apple could make any kind of plausible case that their power play was undertaken for the benefit of iPad or other iOs users. And the more of these silly missteps we see from Apple, the more likely it is that ultimately they will begin to drive even some of their own loyal fans off in the direction of some other tablet from some other company, perhaps a company that already has a stake in the ebook business.