It looks like Mr. Jobs said more than we thought on Wednesday about Apple’s eBook Pricing plans. Check out this video by Kara Swisher from The Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital blog. At about 2:15, we see WSJ tech columnist Walt Mossberg talking to Jobs about iBooks. Mossberg asks Jobs why someone would pay $14.99 for an eBook from Apple when they could buy the same book from Amazon for $9.99. Jobs answer is very compelling:
“That won’t happen,” Jobs says. “The prices will be the same…Publishers are actually going to pull their books from Amazon because they’re not happy.”
Whoa! Did he just say Apple will be maintaining Amazon’s $9.99 pricepoint? Nonetheless, selling books through Apple is still a better deal for publishers, who will get 70% of whatever Apple charges the consumer, whereas Amazon works on a wholesale model, paying publishers half or less than half of what they’re charging.
But, if what Jobs says in this video is true, it looks like Apple won’t be doing much to help publishers disabuse consumers of that $9.99-is-what-an-eBook-is-worth mindset. As far as publishers pulling books from Amazon, we’ll believe that when we see it.