You thought Apple may be the toughest competitor to Amazon in the e-book market (with its upcoming MediaPad)? Think again. Google did announce a while back that it was planning to compete with Amazon (in an indirect way). But who knew Google had grand plans for the e-book market? Google announced that it is working on an e-book ecosystem that will put a whole lot of e-books in the hands of consumers. And unlike Amazon, Google publishers will get to set their own price.
Google has not decided whether its ebooks will be copy-protected. It’d be interesting to see whether Google tries to one up Amazon by making its ebooks available without it. Here is what Google’s spokesman had to say about Google’s big new project:
we hope to give publisher partners an additional way to sell their books by allowing users to purchase access to partner program books online. We want to build and support a digital book ecosystem to allow our partner publishers to make their books available for purchase from any Web-enabled device.
Google’s Book Partnership Program will offer consumers yet another way to access to a whole lot of titles to consume on their netbooks or even Kindles. I don’t believe Google will introduce an e-book reader to compliment its ebooks service, but Apple might! Google’s move can level the playing field in this market a bit. A lot of start-ups (e.g. Plastic Logic) and established companies (Sony) have trouble competing with Amazon due to their lack of access to enough ebook titles. But now they will have access to Google’s huge book database, and they can spend more time improving their hardware to go head to head against Amazon. And how about Apple MediaPad? Will Apple pounce on this opportunity to mount a serious challenge against Amazon Kindle? One thing is for certain. When companies compete, we win. And a competition between Google and Amazon will be a sight to see in the upcoming months!
Your take: will Google’s latest project put Amazon under real pressure? Can Google kill Amazon Kindle indirectly by allowing more Kindle killers to emerge out of nowhere?