From The National:
The iPhone has received a good deal of hype this year as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, but another important device is just about to reach that same milestone.
The Kindle is set to turn 10 on November 19, and while not as revolutionary as Apple’s flagship product, Amazon’s e-book reader is responsible for its own share of change.
And, just like the iPhone, it has also been emblematic of Amazon’s approach to both innovation and customers. It’s a good example of why the two companies are currently positioned so differently in consumers’ minds.
Just as Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, the Kindle wasn’t the first electronic book reader. Amazon improved on predecessors such as the Sony Librie and the long forgotten Rocket eBook with a lightweight and portable device that used an innovative “electronic ink” display to take the pain out of reading books on a screen.
More importantly, it was affordable.
. . . .
If the iPhone unleashed the app economy, then the Kindle sparked a self-publishing revolution that changed how the long-form printed word is created, distributed and sold.
Kindle Direct Publishing, which launched in conjunction with the e-reader in 2007, allowed writers to skip publishers and sell their works straight to consumers. E-books could be sold for as low as 99 cents, with Amazon keeping just a small cut rather than the lion’s share, as publishers generally do.
. . . .
Amazon has never disclosed how many e-readers it has sold, but estimates have pegged the number in the multi-millions. E-books, meanwhile, have gobbled up as much as a quarter of the overall book market in a number of countries.
. . . .
Amazon and Apple’s biggest clash was over e-books. Publishers, fearing Amazon’s growing power, conspired with Apple to counter that influence by fixing e-book prices. In 2014, Apple settled with U.S. anti-trust authorities, giving Amazon customers credits for the over-payments they were forced to endure.
Link to the rest at The National and thanks to Dave for a second tip today.