Home Amazon Launches iPad Kindle Store to Dodge Apple’s Restrictions

Amazon Launches iPad Kindle Store to Dodge Apple’s Restrictions

Amazon has launched a more touch-friendly, Web-based iPad Kindle Store. A tablet-optimized Kindle store was available through the HTML5 Kindle Cloud Reader Amazon launched last August, but the new iPad Kindle Store is a standalone Web app. Upon visiting amazon.com/iPadKindleStore from Safari, a pop-up prompts the user to add it to the home screen. This is the most seamless way for Kindle users to buy books on the iPad.

Apple’s in-app purchasing rules prevent e-book sellers from offering stores in their native apps (without giving Apple a 30% cut). The route around that was to include a link to the Web store inside the native reader app. Last July, Apple forced Amazon and other e-reader apps to remove this link, so users of e-book platforms other than Apple’s iBooks must buy their books in the browser, in a separate place from where they read.

Amazon’s first strike against this rule was to launch the Web-based Kindle Cloud Reader, so that users could read and buy books from the browser on any device, not just the iPad. It’s a nice experience, but the native Kindle app’s performs better and is more useful offline, even though it doesn’t offer direct access to the bookstore.

In December, Amazon brought the Kindle Fire Newsstand to the iOS app, so iPad users could receive subscription publications from Amazon in the Kindle app, in competition with Apple’s own Newsstand. After beefing up the Kindle app, the new standalone Kindle Store Web app better serves Kindle users who want to use the native reader instead of the browser-based one.

Apple and Amazon come at each other head-on in this market. Their approaches are basically opposite. Apple wants controls over the media available on its devices, because content is an inclusive service it provides to make its profitable devices more attractive. Apple breaks even on content, but it wants to lock users into its devices with the convenience of that service.

Amazon’s business is selling content on razor-thin margins. Its Kindle devices are the service, while the content is the product. That’s why Amazon offers so much support for iOS devices, even though it just launched its own Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon loses $2.70 on each Kindle Fire, but it’s sure to make up the loss in media purchases. Sales to iOS users are pure profit for Amazon. The new iPad Kindle Store is its best possible solution for its customers allowed on Apple’s devices.

Do you read e-books? What’s your set-up?

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