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

Published 23 Feb 2011
Reference 5775
Topic Strategy
Region North America
Length 29 page(s)
Language English

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