updated 05:00 pm EDT, Mon June 7, 2010
Apple iBook claim omits Random House, others
Apple's claim that it garnered 22 percent of e-book sales in the US isn't truly accurate, analysts warned this afternoon. The figure is only among the five major publishers that have agreed to sell through the iBookstore and doesn't count Random House, which sells through Amazon but doesn't yet support Apple. Independent publishers also aren't factored into the data.
"I am not sure how he calculated that given many of the e-book retailers are private and publishers are loathe to share those sorts of figures," Gartner analyst Allen Weiner said just after the WWDC keynote.
While Apple's share is likely smaller, the figure was still significant and, at five million e-books sold, still meant that "lots" of digital books were sold. Weiner observed that Apple has effectively divided e-readers into three categories, with basic, grayscale readers like the Kobo eReader costing $149 or less; they could go as low as $99 by the fall, the analyst said. Media tablets around 7 inches with LCDs and proper platforms like Android would sit in the middle at $199, while the iPad, Android tablets and other devices will sit higher.
Competing companies do have apps for the iPad, but these are seen ironically hurting the rivals' own devices as the support for color and video makes their "one-dimensional" readers look poor by comparison.