Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

AT&T Has a Million Reasons to Love E-Books, and the iPad Is Bringing More

Interesting footnote in AT&T’s earnings this morning: The carrier everyone loves to hate has quietly become the carrier of choice for e-book readers.

AT&T (T) provides wireless connections for Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle, Sony’s (SNE) Daily Reader and Barnes & Noble’s (BKS) Nook. And the carrier said it added more than one million wireless data subscriptions for those “emerging devices” last quarter.

Given that the Nook only started shipping this month and that the Sony Daily Reader only showed up at the end of the year, my assumption is that Amazon accounts for almost all of that million. Though perhaps the device makers, which are essentially reselling the subscriptions to consumers, are buying some of the accounts in advance.

And now, of course, AT&T is adding Apple (AAPL) to its “emerging device” roster. So whether the iPad really “kills” the Kindle or not (my hunch is that the devices will appeal to two different customer bases for quite some time), AT&T doesn’t care–it wins either way.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work