Owners of a iPhone or iPod Touch can now access and read the same content Amazon content as the Kindle.
Amazon have taken the logic step that they seemed to be avoiding and have opened up their content on the mobile and dedicated reader platforms. The application is downloadable from Apple's online application store and lets users read the same electronic books, magazines and newspapers that Kindle owners can enjoy. The application does not connect to the Kindle store and so users must buy the content through the Safari browser. However, Amazon's program will synchronise the Kindle and iPhone accounts so you can keep your place in the same book on both devices, but importantly you don’t have to have a Kindle to access Amazon’s content and the iPhone is of course in full colour.
So Amazon has been allowed to bypass the Apple store for buying content and Apple have clearly also approved them having the application. The obvious impact is that Apple should see a huge lift in iPhone and iTouch sales and today have a clear one up over their smartphone rivals. Amazon have clearly put a shot across the bows of Stanza with an offer of far greater content and a tie back to a reader so offering choice of reading device to users.
Forgetting the minor inconsistencies that may be there today between Amazon’s offers, forgetting the differences between Stanza and Amazon’s offer, this clearly is a big step change. Amazon is clearly building a device and platform neutral offer which can all be synchronised and this may questions whether the Kindle will be around as we know it in a few years. We see Amazon positioning itself based on its content offer and as a trusted retailer and would envisage them extending the offer to include newsprint, books, audio, video whatever, over whatever, using whatever, and whenever. It is still unclear how long it will be before Amazon breaks out of the US but the iPhone application may provide an interesting option.
The one thing that this has done is further strengthened fortress Amazon.
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