There have been a series of news about Kindle. First, last week, Kindle announced that the sales of e-books exceeded that of hard copy books. Second, yesterday, Amazon announced that Stieg Larsson, the late Swedish author who wrote the trilogy of “The Girl with Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” became the first author to sell more than one million e-books through Kindle. Third, Newsweek had a column, entitled “Why the iPad hasn’t killed Kindle.”
According to the article, Amazon has managed to sell about 3 million Kindle so far since its introduction in November 2007. On the other hand, Apple sold 3.3 million iPad in 3 months. Hmm. This looks like a pretty ugly game for Amazon. Sure. Amazon is surging the sales of ebooks. But, remember, iPad has Kindle app. In fact, buying an iPad did not stopped me from buying ebooks from Amazon. I’ve bought only two books on iBooks. But, I’ve bought over 10 books from Amazon and carry more than 30 books through Kindle app on my iPad. Before we conclude that Kindle as a hardware device is surviving, we need to look at the data on how many ebooks were sent to Kindle and how many to iPad. My guess is that a lot of those ebooks were sent to those 3.3 million iPads as much as they were sent to 3 million Kindles.
The real story behind this is decoupling of what used to be known as book into hardware, network, software and contents. Both Apple and Amazon seem to benefit from this decoupling.