Apple Won’t Compete on eBook Pricing, Says New York Times

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Yesterday, The New York Times ran a story on the various choices readers will have in terms of where to buy their books on iPad. For readers of this blog, most of this will be review–you know all about the Kindle app, Stanza, iBooks, etc. But there were a couple of noteworthy points we want to highlight.

Nick Bilton of the NYT quotes O’Reilly’s Joe Wikert on what Apple will try to do to win readers over to iBooks:

Joe Wikert, general manager and publisher of O’Reilly Media, said in an interview that he believes Amazon will do what it can to maintain its $9.99 price for the most popular e-books. In contrast, Mr. Wikert believes Apple will charge a few dollars more but try to build a richer e-book experience solely around the iPad.

“When has Apple ever tried to compete on pricing?” Mr. Wikert said. Instead, he sees Apple “continuing to build out the device’s capabilities” while adding video and other interactive story elements to its e-books.

Indeed the collective gasp that sounded when Steve Jobs unveiled the surprisingly low $499 price of the basic iPad is indicative of consumer’s expectation that Apple is not about affordability. It will be interesting to see, once the iPad and iBooks hit the streets, which eReader apps win out.