Tuesday, August 26, 2008

That Book Is A... What Is It Again?

Andy Ihnatko makes the well-worn case that Apple should sell e-books: definitely for its iPod Touch and iPhone, presumably for its computers, and maybe for an oversize iPod touch.

Not much new here, but it definitely all still makes sense, and Ihnatko is plenty funny and smart in making it. I do think his dream of Apple working with Amazon is pretty much a pipe dream:

I realize that the idea of putting a thousand-year-old tradition of book publishing out to pasture with a free iPhone book reader app is completely crazy. But it could be done. And even better than Apple competing against Amazon: what if the two companies worked together? Let Amazon build and fortify relationships with publishers. Let Apple create the relationships with the consumer. Add a Kindle-compatible reader to the App Store. The result could be a revolution.
Yeah, not a bad idea, but Apple doesn't really partner with people quite like that.

It does suggest, though, that a hurdle Apple would have to jump is establishing relationships with publishers like it has been able to with music publishers, movie studios, and TV networks. Amazon has leverage and history with book publishers that Apple doesn't. Nobody really knows how Apple was able to negotiate its music deals initially; it certainly caught Microsoft by surprise. And its relationship with video content providers, even from a position of strength, has been rocky. So that might be one thing holding the mighty Apple tablet reader back. Besides all of the other things.

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