Apple isn't usually a company that likes to outsource media distribution. Since the dawn of the iPod, iTunes has been a core facet of their business strategy. When we first heard that Apple was going to be releasing its own tablet PC with Kindle-like capabilities, we assumed that meant an eBook line of the iTunes store was about to open up.
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But now it's starting to look like Apple might decide to outsource eBook distribution. Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon, stated that Amazon's distribution team planned to give their own Kindle eBook competition by making their eBooks available on the iPhone.
The Apple iTablet will use the iPhone OS, which means Amazon's extensive eBook library will be available on it. Apple may decide to let Amazon continue to deal with the licensing hassle that an eBook market would necessitate. After all, eBook reading will just be one small feature of the iTablet, and it might not be very cost effective for Apple to put a lot of effort and money into that area of development.
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Whatever else you want to say about him, Bezos definitely has the right attitude. He knows nothing that Amazon does will stop this new Apple product line from being a massive success. At this point, Cupertino has a track record for being ridiculously good at this kind of thing. This way, Amazon will still make a boatload of cash through eBook sales on what might be the hottest gadget of 2009.