Jim Letourneau's Blog

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Apple Screws Kobo (and Kindle)

I love Kobo for digital books. Their application works seamlessly across multiple devices, prices are reasonable and they have badges. While my inbox is not the ultimate arbiter of what is going on in the digital book world, two recent Emails point to the "cage match" nature of the business.

Two days ago I received a great offer from Apple's iBookstore:

For a limited time, we're offering three excellent books for free. Get The Great Bridge by Pulitzer Prize-winner David McCullough, Jolie Blon's Bounce from mystery master James Lee Burke, or In Her Shoes by women's fiction favorite Jennifer Weiner. Simply download the free iBooks app and read these titles today on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

Apple isn't known for giving things away.

Today's Email from Kobo didn't have anything free for me. In fact it announced a lessened utility of their iPhone and iPad apps.

We would like to inform you that we have made changes to our iPhone and iPad apps in order to conform with new rules imposed by Apple. The biggest change for our customers is the removal of the ability to shop from within our app.

Thanks Apple.

By the way, I think iTunes is toast. I'm using Rdio more than ever for my music. When I get a moving pictures urge, Netflix and Hulu Plus come first.

I've never bought an eBook reader so all of my reading is on the iPad. If I can't find a title on Kobo, my second choice is the Kindle app. I see that the just released Version 2.8 of the Kindle App removes the Kindle Store button.

Thanks again Apple.

Apple's bullying ways point to the high stakes involved in the rapidly growing e-book market and is part of a larger move to ensure that they get their hefty 30% cut of anything sold on their iOS platform. It will be interesting to see how long Apple can maintain this. The big boys of eBooks are heading for some bloody battles.