July 29, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
A month ago, Aldiko stood alone as one of the only usable Android apps that provided an ereading experience. Since then, the big names in the book distribution market – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Kobo – entered the fray within days of each other. Why the sudden increase in attention for Android?
We may have a little insight into that phenomena based on recent statements from an executive at Amazon.com, the largest book distributor online. Amazon SVP of Digital Media, Steve Kessel, expects eBooks to outsell paperback books in 2011.
“I think we [Amazon] will sell more Kindle books than paperback books in the next year “, Kessel told Pocket-Lint.com. “Sometime after that, we will start selling more Kindle books than hard covers and paperbacks combined.”
The rise of eBooks over paperback has been talked about for years, but paperbacks consistently outsold the digital versions. With the increasing popularity of ereaders, and runaway success of the iPad, digital books are finally inching closer to eclipsing physical copies (on Amazon, at least).
That explains why the eBook apps for Android suddenly appeared within such a short timeframe. Companies routinely jostle to be first to secure their position in growing markets and keep up with the competition. It’s much easier to obtain a following and build early than to enter a market late and be forced to unseat the dominant party. When one company delivers an eBook reader for iOs or Android, a rapidly-growing platform poised to appear on several device types, it’s imperative that rivals do the same.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Kobo debuted in that small window because they recognize how vital it is to get in the game early. It remains to be seen which storefront and reading app will become the dominant player.