For Amazon, Arrival of the iPad Opens Door to More E-Book Sales

Electronic books are expected to be a major selling point for Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPad, which goes on sale Saturday. But competitors, particularly Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), could end up as major e-book providers for the new device.

One reason is that Apple won’t start with the same leg up over competing content providers that it has had with the iPhone and its iPod media players, which have built-in connections to the company’s iTunes music and video store.

The company’s book-reading software, iBooks, won’t come preinstalled with the iPad. That means users will pick which free software to download and install, and could just as easily choose Amazon’s Kindle app for iPad as Apple’s iBooks.

A person familiar with the matter said that the iBooks app wasn’t preinstalled because it wasn’t finished when iPad manufacturing began. Apple said the software will be available to download Saturday.

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