Amazon Launches Kindle App for iPhone

  • Avatar

    Posted: 04 March 2009 12:15 PM

    Here

    Signature

    “the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent”
    -John Maynard Keynes

         
  • Posted: 04 March 2009 04:25 PM #1

    That links seems to have expired. Here’s the NYT’s version of the story.

    Amazon to Sell E-Books for Apple Devices


    By BRAD STONE
    Published: March 4, 2009

    Shaking up the nascent market for electronic books for the second time in two months, Amazon.com will begin selling e-books for reading on Apple?s popular iPhone and iPod Touch.

    Starting Wednesday, owners of these Apple devices can download a free application, Kindle for iPhone and iPod Touch, from Apple?s App Store. The software will give them full access to the 240,000 e-books for sale on Amazon.com, which include a majority of best sellers.

    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.

    But Amazon said that it sees its Kindle reader and devices like the iPhone as complementary, and that people will use their mobile phones to read books only for short periods, such as while waiting in grocery store lines.

    ?We think the iPhone can be a great companion device for customers who are caught without their Kindle,? said Ian Freed, Amazon?s vice president in charge of the Kindle.

    Mr. Freed said people would still turn to stand-alone reading devices like the $359 Kindle when they want to read digital books for hours at a time. He also said that the experience of using the new iPhone application might persuade people to buy a Kindle, which has much longer battery life than the iPhone and a screen better suited for reading.

    Amazon also said its recently unveiled Whispersync function would work for people who own a Kindle and one of the Apple devices. They can access their library of previously purchased e-books on all of their devices at no additional cost. Amazon will also create automatic bookmarks, so that a user can stop reading a book on one device and pick it up on another device at the same spot in the text.

    The move by Amazon tangles competitive dynamics in the growing e-book industry. Many analysts thought pocket-size versatile smartphones could eventually eat into the small but growing market for stand-alone book readers that do little else and still do not have color screens or full-featured Web browsers. With the announcement, Amazon appears to be hedging its bets.

    Analysts had also thought Amazon was closely following the template Apple had created with the iPod and trying to dominate the market with a ubiquitous, must-have consumer electronics device. Now it appears Amazon is more interested in selling as many e-books as possible on its site, and collecting the royalties, while strengthening its ties with customers, many of whom will buy other products from Amazon if they start buying e-books.

    ?A couple months ago a lot of people thought Amazon was slavishly imitating the Apple model,? said Bill Rosenblatt, president of the consulting business GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies. ?It turns out they have a different model than Apple. They are smarter than everyone thought.?

    The developments also suggest that, true to his word, Steven P. Jobs, Apple?s chief executive, has little interest in the market for digital books. Mr. Jobs once dismissed the Kindle by saying ?the whole conception is flawed at the top because people don?t read anymore.?

    Unlike other forms of media like music and video, which Apple sells itself to iPhone owners through its iTunes store, Apple appears to be ceding the e-books market to Amazon and other companies that offer e-book applications.

    ?Apple is consciously skipping the e-book market,? said Evan R. Schnittman, vice president for business development and rights at Oxford University Press. ?I think it?s pretty significant.?

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 04 March 2009 06:55 PM #2

    ?A couple months ago a lot of people thought Amazon was slavishly imitating the Apple model,? said Bill Rosenblatt, president of the consulting business GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies. ?It turns out they have a different model than Apple. They are smarter than everyone thought.?

    Amen to that one.

    So we now have AAPL being used to distribute materials via iTouch and iPhone with AAPL getting $0 for the effort.

    Oh well, I own both, but it is a shame I have far less AMZN than AAPL, where I was buying brains, or I THOUGHT I was.

    Signature

    “Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. . ” —#162 Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition

         
  • Posted: 04 March 2009 07:43 PM #3

    TanToday - 04 March 2009 10:55 PM

    ?A couple months ago a lot of people thought Amazon was slavishly imitating the Apple model,? said Bill Rosenblatt, president of the consulting business GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies. ?It turns out they have a different model than Apple. They are smarter than everyone thought.?

    Amen to that one.

    So we now have AAPL being used to distribute materials via iTouch and iPhone with AAPL getting $0 for the effort.

    Oh well, I own both, but it is a shame I have far less AMZN than AAPL, where I was buying brains, or I THOUGHT I was.

    Stop moaning.

    Signature

    .

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 04 March 2009 08:15 PM #4

    rattyuk - 04 March 2009 11:43 PM

    Stop moaning.


    Sheesh, in THIS market, that is the only thing anyone CAN do, without losing money.

    Signature

    “Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. . ” —#162 Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 04 March 2009 11:19 PM #5

    TanToday - 04 March 2009 10:55 PM

    ?A couple months ago a lot of people thought Amazon was slavishly imitating the Apple model,? said Bill Rosenblatt, president of the consulting business GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies. ?It turns out they have a different model than Apple. They are smarter than everyone thought.?

    Amen to that one.

    So we now have AAPL being used to distribute materials via iTouch and iPhone with AAPL getting $0 for the effort.

    Oh well, I own both, but it is a shame I have far less AMZN than AAPL, where I was buying brains, or I THOUGHT I was.

    Come’ on.  AAPL is doing great. . .it’s just its stock that’s in the toilet.

    Further, if it wasn’t in AAPL’s interest to put the Kindle App in the iPhone/Touch, AAPL would not have allowed it; every app does need to go through an approval process.

    Signature

    “Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America’s problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God.”  ?Norman Vincent Peale

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 March 2009 06:27 AM #6

    TanToday - 04 March 2009 10:55 PM

    So we now have AAPL being used to distribute materials via iTouch and iPhone with AAPL getting $0 for the effort.

    Or it could mean that someone who was going to buy a Kindle decides to buy an iPhone or iPod touch instead. After all, why buy a device that can ONLY display text and do nothing else, when you can buy a smaller multi-function device instead?

    Now if Apple bring out tablet that can run App Store apps, buyers would have access to the Amazon library and that would further endanger the Kindle. So, this is not all bad news for Apple.

    Signature

    Throughout all my years of investing I’ve found that the big money was never made in the buying or the selling. The big money was made in the waiting. ? Jesse Livermore

         
  • Posted: 05 March 2009 12:18 PM #7

    TanToday - 04 March 2009 10:55 PM

    ?A couple months ago a lot of people thought Amazon was slavishly imitating the Apple model,? said Bill Rosenblatt, president of the consulting business GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies. ?It turns out they have a different model than Apple. They are smarter than everyone thought.?

    Amen to that one.

    So we now have AAPL being used to distribute materials via iTouch and iPhone with AAPL getting $0 for the effort.

    Oh well, I own both, but it is a shame I have far less AMZN than AAPL, where I was buying brains, or I THOUGHT I was.


    Did you read Steve Jobs’ take on this?

    The developments also suggest that, true to his word, Steven P. Jobs, Apple?s chief executive, has little interest in the market for digital books. Mr. Jobs once dismissed the Kindle by saying ?the whole conception is flawed at the top because people don?t read anymore.?

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say people don’t read anymore, but Steve’s got a point: People would MUCH rather listen to music or play games with their iPhones than read a book. Amazon caters to the egghead niche demographic. Apple caters to the average Joe. And Mr. Average Joe sure doesn’t read.

         
  • Posted: 05 March 2009 12:22 PM #8

    So far, I’m pleased with the Kindle App for iPhone. I’ve got two books on my iTouch, one free and another purchased.

    I must admit the screen is small so there’s not much text per page. However, the smallest text option isn’t that difficult to read and the page layout usually has two or three paragraphs, which facilitates quick reading. One problem: font size is inconsistent - with a sentence or two very small and then next very large - with no logical reason for the change in text size. It appears to be a bug in the Kindle App. But overall, the text is pretty good for quick reading. I’ve not had it long enough to know if reading long passages on such a small screen will become fatiguing. I suspect I’ll use the app mostly for quick reference or reading on the train, waiting rooms, etc. I’m already thinking about getting the hard copy of the book I purchased. I just prefer having a real book.

    I like the idea of having the books on my iTouch—at the ready for easy/quick reading. The iTouch is much more portable than a Kindle. This won’t replace having a real book in my hands when I sit down to read, however.

    Kindle App for iPhone grade = B

    [ Edited: 05 March 2009 12:24 PM by mjkphoto ]      
  • Posted: 05 March 2009 12:32 PM #9

    mjkphoto - 05 March 2009 04:22 PM

    I just prefer having a real book.


    I think this line describes most readers out there.
    Let’s just do a little simple math here:

    - Kindle: $360
    - e-book: $10-20 each
    - real book: $10-20 each

    This one’s a no-brainer.

    I suspect Amazon produced a few thousand Kindles just for the buzz that would be created for their real business intention: e-books for the iPhone.

    I can’t understand why anybody would buy a Kindle.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 March 2009 12:39 PM #10

    My wife and I have each read books, using Stanza, on out iPod Touchs. We each set up our text size and have not had a problem.  It is really nice having nearly everything (email, calendar, podcasts, movies, photos, books, games)  with us at all times

    Signature

    “Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America’s problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God.”  ?Norman Vincent Peale

         
  • Posted: 05 March 2009 12:45 PM #11

    [/quote]I can’t understand why anybody would buy a Kindle.

    A friend of mine has a Kindle. One thing - he can afford it. Secondly, he likes to show it off. Sometimes I wonder if he’s a “secret marketer” because whenever he’s got a crowd, out comes the Kindle. I’m certain he uses it a lot - he’s got the New York Times on it and several books. But clearly, the Kindle fills a small niche. For my friend, owning and using a Kindle is as much about status as convenience, even though he probably wouldn’t admit that.

    I have no intention of buying a Kindle. It is too expensive. But the ability to have a few selected books on my iTouch is welcomed. Amazon.com got a sale from me this morning and I suspect more iPhone/iTouch owners will give it a try.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 March 2009 12:47 PM #12

    nrabinov - 05 March 2009 04:18 PM

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say people don’t read anymore, but Steve’s got a point: People would MUCH rather listen to music or play games with their iPhones than read a book. Amazon caters to the egghead niche demographic. Apple caters to the average Joe. And Mr. Average Joe sure doesn’t read.

    Can’t you see the IRONY here in your statement?

    Apple has a MARKET SHARE around 7% in computers, it is held out to be THE QUINTESSICAL SNOB product of computing….

    And Joe Sixpack is a Windows XP user.

    Yet, with that TINY slice of the “NICHE DEMOGRAPHIC” as you put things, look at the money that has been made.

    Apple no more “caters to the AVERAGE Joe” than does BMW.

    Signature

    “Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. . ” —#162 Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 March 2009 12:52 PM #13

    I have some books on my iPhone and I do read them. It isn’t my platform of choice, but when I am waiting for someone and I can’t, or don’t want to listen to music. There is a lot of reading material in the iTunes App Store, some free and some of those are impressive titles. I have the free Shakespeare app and read that, also the free “Love Poems”

    “Always carry a book, you never know when you will get arrested.” Emma Goldman

    As to the Kindle, I do not yet have one. Maybe down the road, it is not a front burner item for me.

    Signature

    “Works of art, in my opinion, are the only objects in the material universe to possess internal order, and that is why, though I don’t believe that only art matters, I do believe in Art for Art’s sake.” E. M. Forster

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 March 2009 12:52 PM #14

    nrabinov - 05 March 2009 04:32 PM
    mjkphoto - 05 March 2009 04:22 PM

    I just prefer having a real book.


    I think this line describes most readers out there.
    Let’s just do a little simple math here:

    - Kindle: $360
    - e-book: $10-20 each
    - real book: $10-20 each

    This one’s a no-brainer.

    I suspect Amazon produced a few thousand Kindles just for the buzz that would be created for their real business intention: e-books for the iPhone.

    I can’t understand why anybody would buy a Kindle.

    Math on THIS board, has considerably deteriorated recently.

    The AVERAGE Amazon customer buys 16 books a year, I suspect the Kindle Krowd is many times more than that, I know I have purchased about three books a month, and subscribe to three periodicals.

    Electronic books are $9.99, no matter WHAT the print version is.

    They have sold about 600-750k according to some estimates, and for almost THREE MONTHS last year, you had to get on a waiting list, and wait three to four weeks, just to have Amazon ship you one.

    They were selling USED for up to $100 more than new pricing.

    Sure, I get it, THIS CROWD isn’t into reading much, but you don’t NEED everyone to make oodles and bushels of money, you just need to REACH AND SATISFY the “Junkies” for whatever it is you are selling.

    Signature

    “Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. . ” —#162 Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 March 2009 12:54 PM #15

    TanToday - 05 March 2009 04:47 PM
    nrabinov - 05 March 2009 04:18 PM

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say people don’t read anymore, but Steve’s got a point: People would MUCH rather listen to music or play games with their iPhones than read a book. Amazon caters to the egghead niche demographic. Apple caters to the average Joe. And Mr. Average Joe sure doesn’t read.

    Can’t you see the IRONY here in your statement?

    Apple has a MARKET SHARE around 7% in computers, it is held out to be THE QUINTESSICAL SNOB product of computing….

    And Joe Sixpack is a Windows XP user.

    Yet, with that TINY slice of the “NICHE DEMOGRAPHIC” as you put things, look at the money that has been made.

    Apple no more “caters to the AVERAGE Joe” than does BMW.

    True for the Mac. Not true for the iPod/iTMS ecosystem.  As I’ve mentioned before, I coach a Middle School girl’s vball team in CO, of the 12 girls on the team, more than half have an iPod Touch or iPhone. The rest have iPods.  As is noted in your signature, the iPhone is no longer god enough to get you a date. . .it is a wanted device by everyone.  And for those who can’t justify the data plan, like myself, there is the Touch.

    Signature

    “Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America’s problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God.”  ?Norman Vincent Peale