21 thoughts on “Amazon Turns Kindle Into a Platform”

  1. Imagine talking to people reading the same page of a romantic novel on Kindle at the same time as you are. Imagine seeing that person’s movements on a google map. Man, imagine finding love using kindle… These are some initial apps that will get built.

    Alternative (scary ) scenario:

    Imagine reading Gigaom on Kindle, and finding that the scary dude sitting across from you is also reading the same article and he is seeing that you are moving on the google map at the same speed as him ( both of you are on Caltrain). Imagine he starts talking to you about how wrong gigaOM’s analysis and why you should really be reading Techcrunch, and that dude happens to be Michael Arrington…no, these apps won’t get built, even with the lure of Tech Crunch 50 awards..

  2. Brave attempt but Kindle’s demise is inevitable. Amazon, just doesn’t have the right DNA to sustain a hardware/platform business. After the 27th the game will change again and Amazon will not have the stomach ($$$) for a protracted hardware battle with Apple.

    1. Unless it has e-ink and a store with access to all the books I want to read, I don’t see how any Apple tablet will replace the kindle. Try reading a novel on a laptop screen and then try it on the Kindle. Night and day…

      1. Well no one has seen this thing yet. I’m also really curious to see what kind of screen they use in order to make it readable.

  3. Lab126, the Amazon.com subsidiary who develops the hardware and software on the Kindle, is based in Cupertino, CA – not Seattle…

    @Luis – a lot of the folks at Lab126 are ex-Apple, ex-Palm folks from what I recall – so they know exactly what they are doing from a platform perspective… Amazon.com is a very patient company. They out-Google’d Google with their S3 services. Google App Engine should have been launched before any of the Amazon.com services.

    1. By no means Amazon is a slouch! What I meant to say, is that there is a huge difference between someone who does the whole widget for a living than someone who outsources part of the widget in order to sustain the main business.

      In the future, the Amazon app on the iPhone or any other handset will be the way to go. Sustaining the hardware business is not a strength or the structure of Amazon. No matter how many people from Apple or Palm they hire. I’m sure these individuals know exactly what they’re doing they just don’t have a structure around them to support what I said “an onslaught” moving forward.

      Look at Sony, they had to build an Amazon in order to sustain their hardware sales for the reader. Where do you think that is going to end up? It wouldn’t surprise me if the Sony reader becomes a customer of Amazon in the future and that’s where Amazon’s mojo is!

      Patience for Amazon will = loss of millions of dollars+ plus time wasted in an unwinnable hardware arms race.

      1. Luis,

        You make good points. From the way I see it, Amazon isn’t going to lose this war, even if it loses a battle or two. Just as it released a Kindle app for the iPhone, it can continue to do well even on Apple’s platform(s).

        I think this is what separates them from rest of the e-Reader makers including the likes of Barnes & Noble.

  4. Not sure why these products are constantly compared.

    I love the Kindle for the zero strain on my eyes while reading (like normal book). I could never get used to reading from a laptop/smart-phone screen.

    There is a lot to improve on the ebook user experience, just hope Amazon is giving developers enough tools.

  5. I see this as a must do for Amazon to combat B&N and the Nook. Not just because of the Nook as a device, but it runs on Android. This year we’re going to see a bunch of Android readers, and let’s face it, Android already is a platform. Amazon must do this or die over the long term. I think Android will win over this special Kindle platform, though. Too restrictive.

  6. I like Amazon as a company and am a frequent customer. But I am bothered by the lack of transparency on the number of units shipped. The company needs to share this info to convince us that it is truly being adopted. Otherwise, skepticism is warranted.

  7. Is EA really looking forward to developing games for the Kindle?

    This announcement seems like a bad April Fools joke.

    What’s next? Emerson announcing a development kit for their clock radios?

    Actually if they can do a better pdf reader it will end up being a win for Kindle users.

  8. Amazon planning a KDK (Kindle Development Kit) and a eco-system around Kindle means better Kindles (probably a tablet) is in horizon.

  9. Yes, the smell of fear is all over these moves by Amazon (from this Kit to the ebook royalty restructure to match Apple’s, etc.).

    I think the Kindle is seriously in trouble, as the Tablet will be a very nice ereader…and SOOO much more.

    The fact that the Kindle is exclusively black and white, alone seals the Kindle’s fate as a fine niche device, but nothing more.

    Magazines, textbooks, art books, really anything with illustrations or a need for a color interface (like games other than pong and crosswords, for goodness sake) all make an iPhone-like tablet the only choice between the two.

    Of course, then there’s the rest of the story — web browsing, video, etc. etc. etc. that reinforce the Kindle’s apparent doom.

  10. Read the terms in the Amazon announcement carefully. The application developer would be charged for the bandwidth that the user consumes! This means that the terms would violate the “network neutrality” rules that have been proposed by the FCC.

  11. What’s more, there’s another interesting restriction: applications can’t have VoIP functionality. (Not even for things like tech support.) This would also violate the proposed FCC rules.

    What’s interesting is that Amazon has been an advocate of those rules.

  12. Just think if amazon opened up their product up to high school or college books… I remember that college textbooks were the biggest ripoff since Ronald Reagon’s $115B Star Wars defense shield

  13. Well I am placing my Kindle on sale on ebay in 60 days. The iPhone Kindle app running on the iPad will replace the hardware. Amazon will be the best store on the ipad and thats where their MOJO is at!

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