Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Apple and Amazon Competition Heating Up

Digital media distribution is being fought on many fronts.  And Amazon and Apple are confronting each other more and more.  In the tablet arena on the hardware side and in the content arena, with video, music, and print.  As e-books soar, Apple and Amazon are ready to use  price as a means to try and build engagement.  "Apple didn’t want to compete with Amazon on ebook prices. But it is already showing that it is more than willing to do so. And if customers are drawn to Apple’s new low prices on ebooks, it’s possible to envision the company’s ebook market share rising."  Does the customer care who they buy their e-book from as long as it works on their device of choice.

It is interesting to note that the article is locked in to Apple and Amazon while Barnes & Noble and their Nook library of content is not even being considered as a pricing alternative.

The iPad may enable readers to see their Kindle library but I doubt that Amazon is enabling its Kindle to read iBooks from Apple.  Apple doesn't like to share its library outside its mobile devices.  The choice of hardware may lead consumers to their particular platform. Still price competition is good for the consumer as they determine how best they want to make their e-book purchase.

Microsoft Could Use Barnes & Noble To Sell Its Tablet

I think the Holiday Season 2012 will be called "Tablet Wars" as companies vie for market share of their tablet.  Yesterday, was Tabeo, manufactured and sold exclusively at Toys R Us.  Now comes news that Microsoft plans to build some quick stores for the holiday season to sell its products with plans to build 200 - 300 more in the coming years.  "Microsoft Stores sell Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Microsoft and third-party software, games, peripherals and more. Microsoft also is going to sell its recently announced Surface PC/tablets through its Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and through select online Microsoft stores, as well." All to catch up to Apple.

But isn't Microsoft missing a big opportunity.  Through their heavy investment in Barnes & Noble, Microsoft has literally at their fingertips a partner with a huge retail presence to support their consumer outreach.  In addition, with B&N in so many college bookstores, they have the opportunity to hit the key age demographic.  So how come no word about using B&N to enable this Holiday retail presence?

Sure tons of malls are on their list; with many store closings there is definitely open space.  Isn't this why we see so many Halloween stores pop up for a month.  Still it takes personal to build the space, manage it, sell from it;  B&N provides the brick and mortar and the personnel to get an edge.  It simply seems odd that Microsoft has not taken advantage of the B&N investment to help their own cause.