Round up #43: Toys R Us, Ciao Italy?, Apple wants B&N?
Jeff Meets Geoffrey
“I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Whispernet kid”
According to this
Toys R Us will start selling the Kindle in their stores this Sunday, July 31.
The two companies have had a bit of an acrimonious history in the past, but business is business. Hey, one of the drivers for iPad sales (if not one of the biggest ones) is probably the Kindle app…if they can get along that much, Geoffrey the Giraffe and Jeff Bezos can make a deal. Of course, Apple just made Amazon take the “buy button” out of the app, but still…
It’s an interesting decision…Toys R Us already sells electronics (including laptops and E-Book Readers ((Aluratek))), but space is very valuable in a brick and mortar retail store (as a former manager, I know).
This is probably the most interesting paragraph in the article, although I recommend you read the whole thing for other insights:
According to a report by the Scholastic publishing company, 25 percent of children in 2010 said they had used a digital device to read a book, with the highest percentage, 28 percent, occurring in the 6- to 8-year-old age group — Toys “R” Us’ core demographic.
I’m sure people buy Kindles for kids, even though I do think Amazon could make a kid-specific Kindle (tougher, for one thing). I’m just not sure Toys R Us will be the first place they do it. I would guess they do it some, though. Toys R Us can minimize the rent costs (for the space to display it) by making it one of their retrieval items (bring a number to the front, and they get your product), but that has to be more expensive for them.
They could sell nice kid-friendly covers, I think.
Oh, and the article says that they are going to do a ten dollar gift card for buyers the first week.
Customers can already buy Kindles from Amazon.com (the “world site”), Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.de. Now, there are indicators that the Italian site may start selling Kindles. This
points out how Mondadori, Italy’s largest publisher, is making thousands of books available for the Kindle. When I run a search for Mondadori as a publisher, I get…one result. It could be that the books are only available to customers with Italy as their country at
Mondadori may not be getting global rights from the authors (or their estates) when publishing…they may be limited to selling the e-books in Italy.
There’s no announcement on this yet, but my guess is that it will happen. It makes it easier for people in Italy to buy a Kindle, and can make more e-books available to them in Italian, but it does further fracture the market in a way.
Fox Business: “Apple Eyeing Barnes & Noble?”
Jonathan S. Geller writes about a possibility that Apple may be considering buying Barnes & Noble (which is available).
I’ll say that Geller’s speculations don’t match mine. First, I do think Apple has thought about it…why not? However, I’m not sure what Apple would get out of it.
They certainly have acquired a number of companies over the years, but they don’t tend to go for well-known names like Barnes & Noble. Geller thinks they’d drop the NOOK (I know, tech writers…”Books, yuck!”). Just kidding, but I think many tech writers don’t embrace readers (people, not devices) as a market.
People own both Kindles and iPads…large numbers of people, reportedly. Apple doesn’t have a reflective screen EBR (E-Book Reader), although they have patented something that would lead to a device that has both backlit and reflective abilities. I could see them wanting one with a built-in customer base.
However…would it still be a NOOK? Or would it be…um..an iNook? If Apple owns a hardware product, would they want to market it without the Apple name?
I also don’t think that you just automatically get Barnes & Nobles’ e-book inventory. The relationship publishers have with B&N isn’t the same as the one they would have with Apple.
One big question for me: how quickly would Apple dump the brick and mortar stores and online paperbook sales?
Yes, Apple has Apple Stores, so they do retail…but that’s not at all the same as bookselling. Apple would have no reason to promote bookselling: they aren’t going to have the expertise or be good at it.
That doesn’t mean I’m saying that I expect Apple to buy Barnes & Noble and close the stores. I don’t expect them to buy Barnes & Noble, in part because of the liability of those general interest bookstores.
What do you think? Should Amazon make a kid-specific EBR? Does the NOOKColor serve that purpose for B&N? Is it weird that Amazon might sell Kindles through the Italian site before they do it through the Japanese site? Should Amazon keep selling in country specific sites, or will global rights sales increase to the point where that is unnecessary? Will Apple buy B&N? Would that be a good news for anybody but Books-A-Million? Feel free to let me know.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.