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Give It A (e)Read as The Giants Jockey For Position May 10, 2012

Posted by bobv451 in business, e-books, iPad, iPhone, VIPub, writing.

“Target to quit selling Kindles” read the headline.

So, does this mean Amazon is yesterday’s “next best thing” or something else? The article says more about Target aligning itself with Apple than anything else. I see this as Apple expanding stores where its products are physically viewable/salable. Such strategic alliances flow like the tide. Target fancies itself an upscale Walmart and Apple certainly offers products that fit that image. And a large part of this, I suspect, goes toward ditching a product that can be showroomed, then bought directly from Amazon.

For those of you still on the fence about ereaders, here is a comparison of what to look for and various devices along with some news such as Amazon’s numbers looked better because the loss it takes on Kindle sales improved (due to slowing Kindle sales–sell fewer units that lose money and your bottom line improves).

From a business standpoint, Amazon is about breaking even on their Kindles (or, from the article, losing a bit with every sale), wanting the big $ bang to come from continuing content sales (hey, that’s us!) Amazon seems to be taking a longer view of sales rather than concentrating on quarterly p&l, which means its growth might stretch out for a lot of years. But this is a fast-moving business. The ereaders might change but Amazon knows the content feeding them is the “constant.” The medium is not the message–the message is the message. The signal goes on, no matter how it is received.

Here’s one way to make a smartphone use a screen as large as an iPad. Technology marches on, but what you read rather than how you read is the important goal to keep in your sights (and on your sites).

Speaking of sites, I am in the process of migrating my online store so it will be out of service for a few days longer.

And looking forward to tomorrow, a guest blog from Scott Gamboe on his career, his Kindle Fire contest (and more stuff to come) will be featured. It’s all about content, folks, all about how we do it, how we sell it.

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1. rilaly - May 10, 2012

It seems odd to me that Target, or anyone else for that matter, would want to limit their product. Divsersity should rule in the marketplace, both in a theoretical sense, and in a business sense. I don’t know what kind of money Target gets in their exclusivity contract with Apple, but I have to believe that in the long run diversity would provide a better return. We have both a Kindle Fire and an iPad2 in our home, and I must admit that the iPad2 is a superior product, but the Kindle Fire is “my” product. The pride of ownership goes a long way in the marketplace, and places like Target would be better served to always remember that stratification is the key to maintaining market superiority.

bobv451 - May 10, 2012

Part might be the showrooming, which has been hurting Best Buy badly. People play with the gizmo, then buy it online rather than in the store (usually saving a chunk of money). Apple does not discount, ie, is not competing with Target on price. But I agree–Target was getting traffic into their stores which gave the opportunity to sell other products. (I love my iPad but the Kindle I gave my mother is perfect for her–different products for different needs/uses ought to be paramount in retailers’ minds)

2. D Gary Grady - May 10, 2012

One explanation I’ve seen that makes sense is that Amazon is in direct competition with Target. Incidentally, I gather Target is not only selling the iPad but also the Barnes & Noble Nook.

bobv451 - May 10, 2012

You might well be right on Target thinking of Amazon as direct competition–Amazon sells clothes, groceries, electronics, movies, books, jewelry. All things Target peddles. If Amazon loses money on every Kindle sold, though, Target might see themselves as destroying Amazon by selling even moire Kindles 😎

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