Amazon e-book monopoly threatened by iPad

Apple's imminent iPad will end Amazon's virtual monopoly on e-book sales according to international bean counters.

The Internet bookseller - which until now has cornered a 90 per cent share of the electronic reader market with its Kindle device - can look forward to seeing its slice of the digital pie reduced to just 35 per cent once the likes of Apple and Google have found their feet in the market.

Credit Suisse anal lister Spencer Wang said in a research report: "Near term, we suspect that the iPad and the new eBook agency pricing model, which requires that Amazon increase retail prices to be more consistent with Apple’s pricing, will provide Kindle with the most market share headwind.

"Going forward, we can envision a scenario where Apple, Amazon, and Google eventually split the market. Therefore, we expect Amazon’s share of eBooks business to fall from 90 per cent currently to about 35 per cent over the next five years.

It's not all bad for Amazon, however. Books in digital form are a relatively new technology and Apple's entry into the market, as well as hundreds of tablet-toting also-rans, are expected to boost e-book use exponentially.

And if our rudimentary understanding of mathematics serves us correctly, a 35 per cent share of a massive market is better than 90 per cent share of a tiny one.