What does the fact that Barnes & Noble’s iPhone app, introduced last week, has been downloaded more than the Amazon Kindle for iPhone app during its first week on the market?
Nothing. It merely demonstrates that free applications enjoy a novelty bump, getting a try by readers interested in reading on the iPhone. Even as a horse-race statistic it means little or nothing.
The cumulative downloads of the Kindle for iPhone app far exceed those of the BN.com app, but the real question is how much revenue is being generated through the apps. Jeff Bezos has said that Kindle users read approximately 1.7 times as many books a month than paper book customers. If BN.com’s app performs the same over time, driving incremental e-book sales, then we’ll have something meaningful to consider.