Apple Claims 20% of U.S. E-Book Market, Double Previous Estimates

Publishers Weekly reports (via paidContent) that testimony from Apple executive Keith Moerer in the ongoing e-book price fixing trial has revealed that Apple holds approximately 20% of the e-book market in the United States, roughly double many of the previous estimates made by third parties.

The government also focused on the relative success of the iBookstore asking Moerer what marketshare the store held in the months after launch (about 20% Moerer said) and what its marketshare was after several years of operation and adding Random House in 2011 (also about 20%).

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Beyond the market share claim, Moerer pointed to strong growth of the iBookstore in vigorously challenging the U.S. government's assertion that Apple's e-book effort has been a failure.

The government called the iBookstore “a failure,” and charged that “Apple pricing was unfair to consumers,” and that “Apple sold fewer books because of the higher price caps.” Moerer challenged that characterization, “I disagree. E-book sales grew 100% last year at the iBookstore and it had over 100 million customers.” The government countered that “when you drop prices you sell more books,” and Moerer said, “sometimes, yes.”

But the government bluntly said, “Apple forgot to focus on customers that’s why the iBookstore is a failure.” Moerer: “that’s not true.”

Testimony in the case is now in its second week, with Apple senior vice president for Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue scheduled to take the stand tomorrow.

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Top Rated Comments

writingdevil Avatar
145 months ago
WTF? It is a failure because the government claims it is a failure? That's it? Are these guys just naturally stupid or do they have to go to special training courses?

It's incredibly ironic and ludicrous that the US Government is lecturing Apple on wooing and taking care of customers.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GfPQqmcRKUvP Avatar
145 months ago
If Apple has 20%, I'm curious who makes up the other 80% (?)

ummm....Amazon.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
145 months ago
I find this case incredibly interesting in as far as that the government is going after Apple for the price of ebooks yet oil companies continue to have free reign to price gouge at every drop of the hat.
I think Apple should get into the oil business and launch a string of Apple gas stations with gas priced at about $10/gallon. What is a gouge by existing oil companies will probably be spun into comments like "but my car is snappier when I use Apple gas" or "I've noticed a significant improvement in how my car runs with Apple gas" and probably some "Die, Exxon Die", etc. ;)

Then, a few months later, out comes Samsung Oil with bigger screen gas pumps at about 2/3 of the price of Apple-branded gas. And of course, that will be substantially inferior gas even if Samsung is the underlying supplier to themselves and Apple's gas stations.

All ;)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oletros Avatar
145 months ago
I like low prices as much as the next guy, but what you need to realize about this case is that Apple's behavior (legal or not) disrupted a market where Amazon was taking a loss on every book sold to drown out competition, intending to monopolize the market and then charge whatever they damn well pleased once their dominance was permanently established. By forcing Amazon to make a profit, they actually save the DOJ from having to step in with an antitrust suit against them in a few years time.

Wrong, Amazon was making a profit with their ebook division, they only sold at a loss some ebooks
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
145 months ago
But the government bluntly said, "Apple forgot to focus on customers that's why the iBookstore is a failure." Moerer: "that's not true."
WTF? It is a failure because the government claims it is a failure? That's it? Are these guys just naturally stupid or do they have to go to special training courses?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4TheLoveOfTech Avatar
145 months ago
This is very good for authors. Amazon is using the Wholesale Model to artificially run it's prices down, well below cost, running it's competition out of business. The agency model prevents retailers from using their near unlimited resources to run the competition out of business.

Amazon pays the publisher FULL price when they purchase them. They chose to offer some books at a loss for short periods of time.

Apple is on trial here. Not Amazon.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)