Just as we’re getting over the buzz and acclaim for the new Kindle e-reader, Amazon comes right back at us. This time, it is selling e-books for the iPhone and iPod — that’s right — through a Kindle application that can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store.
Here’s how the Wall Street Journal describes it: “Amazon’s software application, which can be downloaded free of charge, allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to read books or periodicals purchased on the Web or through their dedicated Kindle device, usually for $9.99. Using a service that Amazon calls whispersync, the program keeps track of a readers’ latest page in any given book across both a Kindle and iPhone.”
Amazon has competition, of course, from Google as well as other e-book sellers. Still, give credit to Amazon for creating big hype for its Kindle (which is still a relatively small market, regardless of all the press it gets).
“Will this put Kindle device sales at risk?” asks TechCrunch? “Not likely. The Kindle is a fairly niche product – not that reading is a niche activity (though it’s probably a bit less common than it should be), but the ideas of eBooks/e-Ink/etc are still fairly foreign to most (though Oprah’s mention definitely didn’t hurt). This lets Amazon push more copies of e-products they’ve already got licenses for, all the while coaxing the stubborn folks into the idea of reading books on an electronic screen without requiring them to drop $360 bucks on a dedicated device.”
Or as the New York Times puts it, “The move comes a week after Amazon started shipping the updated version of its Kindle reading device. It signals that the company may be more interested in becoming the pre-eminent retailer of e-books than in being the top manufacturer of reading devices.”