iPad vs. Kindle: e-books in the U.S. in 2010

Published 23 Feb 2011
Reference 5775
Topic Strategy
Region North America

This case chronicles the development of the market for electronic books – the success of Amazon’s Kindle reading device, and Apple’s April 2010 launch of the iPad for e-book reading and also for watching videos, surfing the web, etc. The broader context is the book publishing industry and how e-books and e-readers affect its dynamics. The case focuses on the strategies of Amazon, Apple, and the book publishers.

Teaching objectives

The case allows a discussion of several issues: 1) How disruptive technologies can impact an industry; 2) How technology changes the vertical integration advantages and disadvantages in the supply chain, forcing all supply chain actors to rethink their strategy, and 3) The competition between a uni-dimensional technology (Kindle) and a technology bundle (iPad).

  • technology convergence
  • substitution
  • disruptive technology
  • network effects
  • vertical integration
  • supply chain deconstruction
  • bundling
  • pricing
  • RD0111
  • AR2011
  • AR1011