John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple’s E-Book Market Share Is Bigger Than You Think

ibooksApple’s portion of the U.S. e-book market may be far larger than previously thought — double, actually.

On the stand this week in the U.S. Department of Justice’s e-book price-fixing case against Apple, Keith Moerer — head of the company’s iBookstore — defended the storefront against a government attorney who characterized it as a “failure.”

“E-book sales grew 100 percent last year at the iBookstore, and it had over 100 million customers,” Moerer said.

So, how much of the U.S. e-book market does Apple actually control? According to Moerer, 20 percent.

“I believe that Apple has about 20 percent market share,” Moerer said. “It’s very difficult because there are not industry-wide sales reporting for e-books, but I believe that the iBookstore’s market share is approximately 20 percent in the U.S. and growing.”

That’s twice the 10 percent share typically attributed to the company. And if it’s an accurate accounting of Apple’s share, it means that the 65 percent and 25 percent shares often attributed to Amazon and Barnes & Noble respectively might be in need of reassessment. It also means that e-books are becoming a significant contributor to Apple’s iTunes business.

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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