More on the Kindle vs. a hypothetical Apple device

There have been lots of good comments on my week-old post about the Amazon Kindle vs. a possible larger-format iPod Touch. Today, Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers (the sixth largest trade book publisher in America and the world’s largest publisher of Bibles and books for the Christian market) comments that Apple may now have a good 2/3rds solution to eBooks — a hypothetical larger format iPod Touch and the iTunes Store channel — but what they don’t have is a relationship with book publishers — and Amazon is most publishers #1 customer.

Says Mike:

“I completely agree. I would much rather have an Apple Touchbook than the Kindle (which I own). However, you’re forgetting one small detail. The device is only one-third the equation. iTunes is another third. So far so good. A seamless way to get content from the store onto the device. What Apple is missing is the RELATIONSHIPS. They don’t have any relationships with book publishers that enables them to get access to the content. (I know because I am the CEO of the Thomas Nelson. We are the sixth largest book publisher in the U.S.) Could Apple develop these relationships? Sure. My point is that they haven’t started and this is where Amazon has a leg up. For most of us, they are one of our largest customers—and we trust them.

Related: I’ve had several people email me saying they already read books on their iPhone. And one web-apps company has contacted me with a solution they offer related to reading an eBook this way. I’ll be trying out the different solutions — along with my review of the Kindle I’ve ordered — sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Later: Robert Scoble pops a blood vessel ranting after his first week’s use of the Amazon Kindle. Really, Robert, tell us what you really think about the Kindle. I lost count after the fifth, “Whoever designed this thing should be fired.” He then gives the designers the worst insult imaginable, “Did you hire some out-of-work Microsoft employees?”

Equal time: I point once more to Aaron Pressman’s positive review.