updated 08:30 am EST, Wed February 17, 2010
Apple, Google to whittle Amazon market share
The iPad and a more concerted effort from Google will cut the Amazon Kindle's share of the e-book field by two thirds, Credit Suisse analyst Spencer Wang said in a report issued Tuesday. He believes Apple's entry into the field has "stoked fears" about the growth of the Kindle and that this, combined with Google Books, will drop Amazon's e-book sales share from a near-monopoly 90 percent today to just 35 percent within five years.
Wang expects Amazon's first challenge to be the mandatory price hike following an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the agency pricing model demanded by Macmillan and now publishers like Hachette. The increases put Kindle book prices roughly on par with expected iBookstore prices and no longer let Amazon dictate the market.
The analyst also floats recently circulating rumors of Google co-developing a Chrome OS-based tablet with HTC, although he appears to confuse a conceptual design shown by Google's Chromium team with a production device. Google has publicly stated that any Chrome OS devices won't show until the second half of 2010 and that most of these are more likely to be netbooks.