The iPad was supposed to be the go-to e-reader, yet sales of Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s (NYSE:BKS) Nook, which has fueled a lot of attention from Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LCAPA) this week, demonstrate that some people prefer a device dedicated solely for reading books, without all the bells and whistles. It could have something to do with the price tag–at $499 for the cheapest iPad, Apple can’t compete with the new $139 Nook or the $114 Kindle. If all you’re looking for is an e-reader, why pay extra for the ability to video chat or use apps?
Another reason that might explain the success of e-readers is the screen: they use electronic ink. It’s essentially easier on the eyes, allowing for long-term reading. The iPad uses a traditional LCD screen, like you’d find on a computer.
Whatever the reason, Apple’s stock is down 5.28% in the last month after enjoying a very short-live spike when the iPad was released. On the other hand, Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock may be down this week as B&N’s Nook is getting all the attention, but overall their share prices have been steadily climbing, up 3.97% in the last month. Barnes & Noble booksellers, without their e-reader, might have been headed for a future like that of Borders, a company that was, until recently, their biggest competition. But because of Liberty Media’s interest in the Nook, they’ve seen stocks soar 38.20% in the last 5 days, and an almost unheard of 88.67% leap in the last month after taking a hit a couple months back. Still, their YTD is up 36.54% while Apple’s is only up 2.99%, with shares continually depreciating in the last month.
Another reason for Apple’s sorry figures might be competition elsewhere. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system is big competition for the iPhone. While Apple was making an enemy of Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) Flash, Google was creating an open source operating system, which means it’s free for all smartphone manufacturers to use. Still, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad are all some of the top selling products in their categories, so why are people losing their faith in the money-making machine that is Apple? Maybe it’s because they’ve done it all. What is there left for Apple to do? Sure there will be upgrades, a third and fourth generation iPad, a new Mac OS, but there aren’t any new, game-changing products (that we know of) on the horizon.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has simply beaten themselves at their own game–in a rush to get there first, to out-do everyone else–they seem to have created every feasible marketable technology. So unless they invent an iTeleport or an iBot, they might have to get used to being in the red.
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