Amazon prepares for ‘textbook e-reader wars’

 Amazon’s preview of the Kindle DX was “a smart tactical manoeuvre” designed to pre-empt competition from other manufacturers in a market that is “a new Holy Grail”, according to a senior figure at OUP.

Evan Schnittman, vice-president global business development at Oxford University Press, said Amazon had revealed the device early so it could stake out its territory before the academic market becomes home to the “textbook e-reader wars”. The Kindle DX will be available from the summer, and costs $489 (£325).

He said: “If you look at the two previous Kindle press conferences, both were held at the precise moment of release. The events were announcements of a product that was ready to ship, not, as with the Kindle DX, a preview event. Amazon made a premeditated change in their strategy . . . because it sees Apple as the player to beat in the university marketplace, and the last thing Amazon wishes to be is also-ran news after Apple launches a device for this market.”

Schnittman highlighted the importance of the higher education market—one that has “consistently rejected all previous digital attempts”, which he described as being “made up of the most wired, wireless, trend-setting, trend-following, advertising-influencing, advertising target audience in the world”.

Media men reject Kindle DX

Leading newspaper-owners have rejected Amazon’s charging model behind the Kindle DX, following the online retailer’s announcement of its new large-screen device yesterday, the Financial Times has reported.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch said his newspapers will not be signing up to Amazon.com’s Kindle DX, despite expressing confidence in the model of e-reading devices.

Murdoch, who owns newspapers such as the Sun, the Times and the Wall Street Journal, said: “We will not be giving our content rights to the fine people who created the Kindle.”

James Moroney, chief executive of the Dallas Morning News, said Amazon wanted 70 per cent of any subscription revenues his paper earned through the Kindle, and the right to republish the newspaper’s stories on other portable devices.

“Is that a business model that will work for newspapers? That to me is not a model,” he said.

 

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