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Google takes on Amazon and Apple in ebooks market

Google Editions ebooks readable on mobile devices

Amazon Kindle DX

Google has announced that it will launch an online ebook store in mid-2010, with Google Editions books readable on any web-enabled device, including mobile phones, Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad.

Google has already scanned more than 12 million books, including titles that are out of print, which gives it a larger library than either Amazon’s ebook store or Apple iBooks.

Google Editions will offer the advantage of not being tied to any specific ebook reading device. Amazon ebooks can be downloaded either to an Amazon Kindle or an iPad running the Kindle app, while Apple iBooks are restricted to Apple devices.

If you’re looking for an e-book reader, check out Which? e-book reader reviews plus our hands-on guide to the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle

Third party websites to sell Google ebooks

Dan Clancy, a Google engineer, told the New Yorker magazine: ‘[Google Editions] is much more of an open ecosystem, where you find a way for bricks-and-mortar stores to participate in the future digital world of books.

‘We’re quite comfortable having a diverse range of physical retailers, whereas most of the other players would like to have a less competitive space, because they’d like to dominate.’

The Google Editions service will operate as a business-to-business (B2B) service by allowing third party retailers to sell Google’s ebooks on their own sites.

Google’s ebook pricing has not yet been revealed, nor details of whether the Editions service will be launched in Europe.


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