AppAdvice’s Alexander Vaughn claims that he’s seen the iBook store firsthand and is able to confirm that the NYTimes Bestsellers he saw were mostly priced at $9.99. This is in line with what Steve Jobs said at the iPad announcement, but interesting in light of the still ongoing behind-the-scenes wrangling between Amazon and publishers.
Things between the bookseller and the big houses (including, but not limited to Macmillan) weren’t fully resolved even though Amazon conceded to the agency model. Now it seems the struggle is over the exact terms of the contract, with Amazon asking for a 3 year contract and a stipulation that no other eBook store can have lower prices or better terms.
I’m sure Apple has something to say about that. And this price revelation is likely a big part of it. With the state of the eBookseller market right now, Apple/iBook may be the only player with enough clout publishers can use as leverage against Amazon. That’s a little scary, though, because what happens if the scales tip too far in Apple’s favor?
Now that both Barnes & Noble and Borders are entering the eBook game we may see a more even playing field. But that’s only if they step up in a way neither company has for a very long time. In the end, consumers want good prices and wide selection. The way things are looking now, they may not get it.