The first apparent effect the launch of Apple's iPad had on Amazon's business was to cause aggro between itself and publisher Macmillan over the pricing of e-books. Amazon wants to have a ceiling price of a tenner on all e-books, but Macmillan wants to switch to the model it has with Apple, where it determines the price and merely uses the retailer as an agent.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch recently weighed in on the matter, stating in News Corp's recent earnings conference call that he's not a fan of Amazon's pricing model. News Corp owns Harper Collins Publishers and seems to have come to a similar arrangement with Apple.
Today, nytimes.com is crediting an anonymous source with the news that Amazon is buying a touch-screen technology start-up called Touchco. It has invented a technology called interpolating force-sensitive resistance, says the report, which is not only considerably cheaper than the capacitive touch-screens used in the iPad, but can also detect an unlimited number of touch points at once.
The Times didn't get confirmation from either company, but Touchco's website just says "Thank you for your interest in Touchco. As of January 2010, the company is no longer doing business." That doesn't necessarily mean it has been acquired by Amazon, but the giant e-tailer is certainly under pressure to maintain the appeal of Kindle in a year when many rival e-readers and tablets will be launched.
Amazon is also offering free shipping on Kindles over the Valentines day period in the US to encourage people to buy them as gifts.