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Summary:

The frenzy this week in anticipation of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of iPads is as expected. One of things that remains to be seen is how Apple will impact the e-book game, with the iBookstore. Get ready for a big impact, for everyone.

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The frenzy this week in anticipation of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of iPads is as expected. Countless individuals are checking the delivery status of their iPad(s) and wishing it would “just get here already.” There hype is in overdrive, and it’s close to the time where we see if it’s justified or not. One of the questions being asked is how Apple will impact the e-book game with its iBooks app and iBookstore. I believe both will have a huge impact, but not just for Apple’s own retail operation. The iPad will be the only universal e-book reader — able to buy and access paid content from all the major e-book sellers.

Amazon set the stage for iPad dominance in the e-book world with the Kindle for iPhone app. It allows customers to browse the Amazon Kindle bookstore, buy books and then read them on the phone. Those who use Kindle for iPhone praise the ability to read Kindle books without Kindle hardware. It’s good for Amazon, as it is in the business of selling books, and even though Amazon would like to sell you a Kindle reader, it’s happy selling you books.

This is going to ramp up when the iPad hits consumer hands, and the Kindle for iPad app becomes available. The iPad will be a far better e-book reader than the iPhone, and even owners who’ve shied away from reading on the iPhone are going to give the iPad a try. They will discover that the iPad is a very good e-book reader, and they’ll happily buy Kindle books for the iPad.

The same is going to happen with Barnes & Noble, as it is in the same position as Amazon. Its reader app also allows iPhone owners to give e-book reading a try. B&N is going to produce an iPad reader version, and I expect it will sell quite a few books on the slate. That’s good for iPad owners, and good for the bookseller too. The folks at Kobo will have an iPad reader like the others. Kobo is the operation running the online bookstore for Borders, and will power other bookstores too. Its iPad reader will support shopping for books along and reading them, too.

The bottom line is the iPad is going to have a tremendous impact on the e-book business, no matter what the iBookstore does. Dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle and Nook can only buy books from the seller’s own store. Owners of the iPad will be able to shop at all of the major online e-book retailers. The iPad will be the only universal e-book reader that can handle paid content from just about anywhere, and that will be a game changer.

Images courtesy of Apple.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Irrational Exuberance Over E-Books?

  1. The iPad is a game changer for eBooks even before it was for sale looking at the publishers altering prices strictly because of the impending release of the mighty iPad.

    Also the Gaming industry will be shaken to its core by the iPad. The iPhone/iPod already commands more than 20 percent of the gaming market, look for its share to grow via iPad.

    No doubt about it this is a very very disruptive technology. I am certain Apple is the only company that could have executed something like this so successfully.

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  2. Frankly the hype is just too much to take. I find the total abandon distastfull.

    No one even has one and I say so what.

    I have one on order like EVERYONE ELSE but i’m not that excited as the battery life is going to really really suck for ebooks.

    I’ll stick with the Kindle DX thanks.

    Having said that, it will be good for certain ebooks.

    what absolutely amazes me is how everyone thinks this is a different device.
    It’s a laptop without a keyboard. You will have to buy something to prop this thing up (something the keyboard does perfectly,while serving a dual purpose)

    What makes this hype so prevalent is that the wheel is already invented and that’s just so boring so we want to re-invent it.

    Problem is, anything but round ain’t goin to cut it.

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    1. Geesh, I wish I could edit my comment

      Jk how comes there’s not editing of comments?

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  3. Jahan Khan Rashid Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    i hate apple and even im thinking of buying one!! Whats the world coming to?! im hoping the htc evo or desire will stop me from going over to the dark side as a 4″ screen is enough for me to read an ebook

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  4. “It allows customers to browse the Amazon Kindle bookstore, buy books and then read them on the phone.”

    Does it? Maybe I have just an old version, but when I click the “Get Books” button in my Kindle app, it launches the Safari iphone app. And I can’t buy Kindle books from the Amazon native iPhone app either, as far as I can tell.

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  5. @jkr
    You ‘hate’ Apple. As in Jihad hate? As in childish hate like ‘I hate spinach!’?
    Why the hate?
    Someone at Apple abused you as a child?
    Someone at Apple robbed you of something non-trivial?
    You hate most things you don’t know?
    You’re a Windows user-loser?
    You use the word ‘hate’ casually, with no idea of its meaning?
    You are a fool with a limited vocabulary, as in ‘love it, hate it and dunno’?
    What’s the reason?
    And yet, despite your hatred, you’ll buy an iPad maybe.
    Don’t bother. You’ll ‘hate’ it, for sure.
    Looked in the mirror lately? Hmmm. I’d hate to be you.

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  6. The iPad won’t have much of an impact in the e-book business. People get all content from major e-book sellers without using the iPad. For serious readers, they prefer the Kindle or some other epaper, e-reader dedicated device- epaper being more comfortable on the eyes than LCD, longer battery life. For those who opt for non e-reader dedicated devices- for casual reading, they prefer the convenience of their phones, or what’s out there that are more versatile and capable, ie, Android or Windows 7 slates, netbooks, laptops, other mobile devices, desktops. Aside from casual reading content, they access widely available Flash content. Unlike, let’s say, netbooks, 30 million and growing, and other more versatile and capable slates, the iPad itself, just doesn’t have a place in most people’s lives, so that’s why its impact is negligible.

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  7. @chandra
    You clearly shouldn’t be allowed to post comments without adult supervision. All the guy said was he doesn’t like Apple (a perspective that’s hardly unheard of, especially among powerusers who like to tinker with their systems; hang out on SlashDot a bit and learn a bit about technology). I’ll take Jahan’s light-hearted quip over your trite commentary.

    And what’s with the “jihad” nonsense? I think it’s obvious who’s the hater, and it ain’t Jahan. Perhaps I should take a stupid pop-shot about the BJP and Hindutva merely because of your name happens to be Sanskrit?

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