Entries Tagged as 'war'
Michael Ephraim, the head of Sony for Australia and NZ, was interviewed by The Age yesterday. He is rather pissed with the recent behavior of Apple, and he’d really like to see Sony sever all ties.
You know, when Apple decided to enforce that contract clause, perhaps they should have started with a company smaller than Sony. Sony are considering pulling their music and games from iTunes, and then stopping development of new games for iOS. And they could actually do it, too. [Read more →]
November 25th, 2010 · sales
I wasn’t planning to do another BFS post, but one of my readers pointed out that B&N are selling refurbished Nook Wifi ereaders for $79. You can find them on Ebay, and they come with the standard 1 year warranty.
I think I’m seeing a pattern here.
The Nook shows up in a Best Buy advert for $99. Amazon responded by offering refurbished K2 ereaders (tomorrow) for $89. B&N shoots back with the $79 Nook Wifi (they only started selling it 3 hours ago).
I was about to call this as the best Black Friday sale, but now I would bet dollars to donuts that Amazon will announce a better sale some time today.
Let’s see what happens.
Digitimes are reporting that Hanvon, MReader, and other Chinese ereader manufacturers have lowered their prices for the domestic Chinese market.
Hanvon Technology, currently the largest vendor of e-book readers in the China market, has lowered its retail prices by 200-300 yuan (US$30-45) on average, with the lowest price reaching 950 yuan, according to report by China-based Beijing Morning Post. The price war for e-book readers in the China market has kicked off and there are expected to be rounds of price-cut competition, the source cited China-based consulting company Analysys International as indicating.
In addition to Hanvon, fellow vendor MReader has cut the retail price for its S600 e-book reader to 999 yuan and another vendor Gorld has cut the price for its 500T to about 1,000 yuan.
If you’re thinking that $45 isn’t a big change, keep in mind that the Nook-Kindle price war only dropped the price $60, and that happened mainly becuase B&N wanted to price the Nook Wifi in relation to the Kobo ereader.
This one looks kinda neat (you get to blow things up and set people on fire).
From the press release:
Smashing Ideas today announced The War of the Worlds for iPad is now available in iTunes. The enhanced eBook, based on H.G. Wells classic Man vs. Martian tale, is available for the introductory price of $3.99. The War of the Worlds for iPad is the first release from the newly formed ePublishing division at Smashing Ideas. [Read more →]
The Bookseller are reporting that WHSmith have followed Waterstone’s in cutting the price of the Sony Pocket Edition to £99. Everyone agrees that both price changes were caused by Amazon’s announcement that they will sell K3 in the UK for £109.
I’m a little disappointed, but perhaps I’m expecting too much too soon. In the US price war a couple months passed between the Kobo announcement and the Nook Wifi announcement. Of course, Amazon responded to B&N within 8 hours, but not everyone is as nimble as Amazon.
August 15th, 2010 · opinion
There was a rather uninformed article posted yesterday on eWeek.com. The author argues that the iPad is competing with the Kindle, Nook for the reading market:
With April’s release of the Apple iPad, and recent software and hardware upgrades for both Amazon.com’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, the battle for the ereader market is well and truly joined. Each of those three companies seems equally determined to match the others on a number of competitive fronts, from bookstore size to device features.
The problems with that paragraph are legion. Let me show you the most obvious:
- The $500 iPad is competing with a $150 ereaders.
- The iPad is in competition with the apps running on it.
- The iPad (available in less than 20 countries) is competing with the Kindle, which is available in 140.
- iBooks (with less than 100k titles) is a serious competitor to the Kindle Store (greater than 500k titles).
And then he goes on to argue that this ereader price war is supposed to kill off Google Editions:
According to the plan, Google Editions would make some 400,000 e-books available to Web-enabled devices such as laptops, tablet PCs, and smartphones. Those volumes would be purchasable directly from Google, via the Google Checkout system. And whereas Amazon and its current rivals offer e-books in a proprietary format, the search engine giant’s own e-bookstore would theoretically offer more freedom over where and how its e-books could be read.
But the longer Google waits to roll out Google Editions (and the longer it neglects to provide details about how the service will work, in order to build the all-important buzz) the harder its eventual battle against Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple, all of which have been moving aggressively to draw readers to their respective platforms. In that context, Google’s chances of breaking off a substantial portion of the e-book market seem dimmer and dimmer by the week.
It’s fairly safe to assume that GE will have unique content, and it probably will be device independent (you’ll read books in your browser). Here’s the thing about unique content: adding it to the market grows the market.
ReadWriteWeb got their hands on a statement from Sony, and that’s certainly one way to interpret it:
“Pricing is one consideration in the dedicated reading device marketplace, but Sony won’t sacrifice the quality and design we’re bringing book lovers to lay claim to the cheapest eReader,” said Phil Lubell, VP of Digital Reading at Sony Electronics. “Our global customers expect to get the best digital book reading experience and we’re concentrated on delivering that by investing in Sony’s award-winning design and original digital reading enhancements, such as eBook library borrowing and the only full touch screen on the market.”
They won’t leave the market entirely, but I could see Sony giving up in the US. Then again, once they abandon the US market, what will they have left?
P.S. I’m waiting to hear from my contact at Sony. If I find more info I will post again.
The following press release came across my desk this morning:
While iPad of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL | PowerRating) is competing with Kindle of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN | PowerRating) in the oversea market, the tablet computer triggers a markdown of e-book readers in the Chinese market. As a result, the stock price of Hanwang Technology Co., Ltd. (SZSE: 002362) slipped.
Technology portal zol.com.cn discloses that mainstream e-book reader brands such as Hanwang and Founder Technology Group Corporation (SHSE: 600601) have all downgraded their prices by about 20%.
Not only iPad, but also domestic tablet computers like FlyTouch of Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd. (SEHK: 0493) challenge the robust growing e-book market. With the same size as an e-book reader, iPad is tapping a burgeoning market between laptops and smart phones. Apple reveals that iPad users download 250,000 e-books one day from the company’s online store.
The price drop could be due to tablet competition, yes, but it could also have been caused by the crowded ereader market. Either cause is possible.
July 8th, 2010 · opinion
Best Tablet Review has an interesting article on the ereader price war and the current state of the market.They argue that
The first point I want to raise is when the price war started. BTR assumes (like most people) that the Nook Wifi started the price war. I disagree. Kobo started it when they launched their $149 ereader. I still don’t think much of the hardware, but at the time that was a very good price.
BTW, the second battle of the ereader price war wasn’t the Nook Wifi; it was when Sony dropped their prices (before the Nook Wifi). They called it a sale at the time, but that was just to hedge their bets. Also, I think they were responding to the price of the Kobo ereader, not anticipating the B&N price drop. They were trying to find a better price point for their ereaders (whoops).
BTR goes on to predict that only the big three (Amazon, Sony, B&N) will survive and it will be hard for anyone else to enter the market. This is very likely true, but it is only true if you ignore the rest of the world.
The ereader price war has so far been confined to the USA. It has yet to affect the other major markets in Europe, Asia and Australia.When you add them to the pot the prediction is false. And the Big Three soon becomes the Big Four, possibly even the Big Five.
One company that BTR left out was Pocketbook. Pocketbook will survive the US based price war just fine. In fact, they’re in a better position than Sony because they don’t depend on the US market for survival. Pocketbook is based in the Ukraine and Russia, and the USA is actually their least important market. I mentioned last week that they lowered their prices. You might have noticed that I didn’t comment on the fact that their prices are higher than everyone else. I passed because their prices staid slightly more expensive than everyone else. If they’re happy with that price point, then they must know what they’re doing.
Pocketbook was one of the Big Four. I have the feeling that there is actually a Big Five, but I’m not sure yet who that last company is. It’s not Bookeen or Bebook, but it might be Hanvon or Gajah. Hanvon was working towards a $100 ereader before the Nook Wifi, and Gajah is the most widely distributed ereader manufacturer that you’ve never heard of.
So who’s going to survive? My prediction is that all will survive just so long as they can stay financed. Once they have money troubles they’re dead. No one will finance them because of the price war.
You might recall that Monday I posted that the Samsung E60 will be sold in France (it’s also currently sold in Italy). I was a little frustrated because I had no info about the US release, which had been repeatedly delayed. I sent an email to Samsung and pestered them again. They got back to me on Tuesday, and here is what they said:
Based on current market dynamics, Samsung is revisiting its approach to the eReader market in the US at this time. We remain committed to the mobile entertainment market and expect to have new announcements soon.
Note that they don’t say that they are giving up entirely, just that they aren’t going to release an ereader anytime soon. Fortunately for Samsung, they still have their native South Korean market as well as Japan.
They’re really not having a good year when it comes to ereaders. First their 10″ E101 gets killed by the iPad*, and then their entire ereader market in the US got killed by the price war.
*It was announced at CES 2010 (pre iPad), and then not announced at the (post iPad) March press conference (and they won’t comment on it).