How do you decide which e-book to buy? After all, there are Kindles, Nooks, iPads and now Google is planning their own e-book. In fact, they are in the final stages of production. What is taking them so long? In a recent WSJ.com article, Google product manager and director Scott Dougall said, “Because of the complexity of this project, we didn’t want to come out with something that wasn’t thorough.” According to that same article, “Users will be able to buy books directly from Google or from multiple online retailers—including independent bookstores—and add them to an online library tied to a Google account. They will be able to access their Google accounts on most devices with a Web browser, including personal computers, smartphones and tablets.”
Currently Amazon controls 65% of that market. Forrester Research is predicting the market to be worth $966 million this year. The first product to market may do well, but it doesn’t guarantee that they will stay number one. Sometimes it is better not to be first on the market. Flydogdesign.com noted, “Apple is known by their strategy of not being the first. None of the Apple’s top sellers today were first in the market. iPod wasn’t the first mp3 player, iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone and iPad wasn’t the first tablet computer. Apple prefers being the best to being the first. And they make billions on that bet.”
Only time will tell if this strategy will also work well for Google. They have done a nice job of catching up in the past. Remember Yahoo? As of September, 2010, Google was used 90% of the time for searching the Internet. Yahoo was down to 4.4%.
If their past performance is indicative of what is to come, Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Sony may have a tough race ahead of them.