Last week literary agent, broadcaster and industry insider Peter Cox questioned whether Google would introduce an ebook reader to further monopolize its new position at the center of the emerging digital book world. Our response was that they had this covered already in their Android and could easily make Google Book Search a standard Android feature.
So what of Amazon with its Kindle 2 sitting on the launch pad and expecting to fly in the New Year? Has the Kindle 2 release been delayed for commercial, technical or strategic reasons? Why would Amazon miss out on the Christmas season sales?
Perhaps the answer is down to a change in strategy. Perhaps the explosion of smartphone applications has fired a shot across their bow and woken them up to the fact that maybe; just maybe, the kindle isn’t and never will be sexy or cover all the bases. No matter how many Ophra endorsements are given it’s still a clunky device which will find it hard justify the consumer investment. Maybe Amazon has realized that if there is a significant mobile swing and the world goes online as opposed to offline they are in a better position than anybody to take that market, or at least go head to head with the potentially biggest ebook retailer – Google.
Let’s step back and look at potential Amazonian moves. These may be far from the reality of what happens but they could happen:
Amazon introduces a Kindle mobile application for the major mobile platforms.
Amazon promotes an online book service based on their mobi format.
Amazon smartens up the Kindle reader and make it interoperable with the online service.
Amazon offers online rentals for both kindle and mobiles.
Amazon has the largest digital content outside of Google which is in their mobi or derivative format and serviced direct to devices not through the mothership PC. They don’t have a DRM issue as they own the Kindle / mobi offline DRM and online can be secured a lot easier. They also have reflow with their format so moving onto a mobile platform is easy.
We know what we would do if we were Amazon!
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