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Amazon’s Leading Role In The E-Book Market Continues
At the end of the 2010 festive season, when the sales returns are tallied up, there seems little doubt that the Kindle reader will have enjoyed another record breaking year. Even without the introduction of a touch sensitive, the release of the Kindle 3 in the autumn of 2010 widened the gap between the Kindle and the chasing pack even further. As well as a variety of technical enhancements, including a better contrast display, a lighter and smaller case and increased memory capacity, Amazon introduced a WiFi only entry level model.
The entry level Kindle sells for just $ 139 – less than a third of the price of the most basic iPad. The 3G plus WiFi model sells for $ 189 – still a long way below the price of even the entry level iPad. The fact that the Kindle has no monthly download or connection fees associated with it is another big selling point.
Another key feature of the Kindle has always been the enormous collection of Kindle books available for download from the Amazon website. At this time, there are in excess of 750,000 Kindle books on sale via Amazon’s Kindle store. In addition to the paid Kindle books, there are currently a further 1.8 million out of copyright titles, published prior to 1923 – including many literary classics – which are available for free download direct from the Amazon website.
One of the things that many prospective e-book reader buyers seem to fret over is that they will be “tied” to their reader. They feel that having bought a lot of e-books in a particular format, they will be unable to transfer their books should they wish to switch to another e-book reader later.
This has been cleverly addressed by Amazon, who have released a variety of apps to allow Kindle books to be read on a range of different devices. There are currently Kindle apps available for the Mac, PC, the iPad, the iPhone, any device which runs the Android OS, the Blackberry smart phone and the latest generation of Windows phones. It’s a smart move on Amazon’s part. Not only does it overcome the concerns regarding the transfer of books, but each of these apps effectively acts as another retail outlet for Kindle books. Current estimates suggest that around 20% of all Kindle book sales are made via non-Kindle hardware. That’s a percentage which will probably increase in future.
As improbable as it may have appeared at some points throughout the year, 2010 has seen the Kindle reinforce its market dominance even further. The fact that the only credible competition to the Kindle comes in the form of a tablet computer which costs more than three times as much as Amazon’s reader tells a story in itself. It seems clear that the Kindle will continue to be a major factor in the development of the e-book market into 2011 and beyond.
Amazon's Leading Role In The E-Book Market Continues