Gabe Habash -- August 10th, 2011
In the latest chapter of Amazon vs. Apple–which is increasingly
starting to resemble a popularity contest between the two prettiest
girls in school–two separate stories broke today: both are good for
Amazon and both are very bad for Apple.
The first story is Amazon’s announcement of its Kindle Cloud Reader,
an HTML5 reader that bypasses Apple’s iOS guidelines prohibiting the
use of links–and their 30% cut on all sales. The Cloud Reader allows
users to purchase and access Kindle titles through their browsers rather
than through apps, and gives Amazon the ability to set up a Kindle
storefront through an iPad’s browser without having to pay Apple a cent
The second story, which is a loss for Apple (and thus a gain for
Amazon), is the class action lawsuit filed today in California claiming
that Apple colluded with Hachette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster,
HarperCollins and Macmillan to fix prices on e-books.
The suit alleges that this all happened back in early 2010, as Apple
was readying the iPad for the digital books marketplace, and neither the
publishers nor Apple were willing to accept the low margins Amazon’s
$9.99 e-book pricing was forcing on them.
“Fortunately for the publishers, they had a co-conspirator as
terrified as they were over Amazon’s popularity and pricing structure,
and that was Apple,” Steve Berman, an attorney representing consumers in
the case, said in an e-mailed statement.
In one day, Apple has been thrown into the spotlight as a frightened
player in the digital books market while a major hole has been punched
in their iOS’s restrictive guidelines through circumnavigation. The
impending iPhone 5 and iPad 3 announcement can’t get here soon enough.
But, at least for this week, we can safely chalk up a victory for Amazon.
*From PW Daily