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A principal analyst from IT company Ovum believes that the new Apple iPad will increase the market for e-books and may be a successful product if developers start to deliver apps designed for the device.

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Entitled iPad: Apple takes a bite of the e-books market, Principal Analyst Adam Leach said that the key aspect of the iPad proposition is Apple’s iBooks application.

“It allows users to both read e-books on the device and, importantly, to purchase new books and download them directly to the iPad. This puts the iPad in direct competition with other e-book readers, but most notably with Amazon’s Kindle,” says Leach.

“The revenue-generating capacity of the e-book market looks significant, with early estimates for the Kindle 2 last year suggesting that the device had generated over $100 million in revenues in little more than two months after its launch in February. Apple will be aiming higher still with the iPad, which should also deliver a useful uptick to its other content stores,” added Leach.

“Although this seems like bad news for Amazon, the iPad will certainly increase the market for e-books,” continued Leach.

While the iPad will provide users with access to over 140,000 existing applications as soon as it is launched, the real value of the device will be delivered once applications are optimised for it.

“The iPad, like the first versions of the iPhone, has a number of limitations (such as no camera and no multitasking capability), and it is tempting to believe that these will limit its success. Apple will refine the iPad through OS updates and new hardware, but still needs to deliver a compelling experience for the initial version of the iPad. It cannot rely purely on improvements that are not yet delivered to establish the product,” concluded Leach.

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