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From Information Week:

Amazon Launches iPhone-Optimized Kindle Store


The e-commerce site is the latest indication that the online retailer is taking a multiplatform strategy in selling electronic books.

By Antone Gonsalves, InformationWeek
May 11, 2009
URL: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=217400286

Amazon on Monday launched a version of the Kindle Store optimized for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, the latest indication that the online retailer is taking a multiplatform strategy in selling electronic books.

Amazon has modified the Kindle Store, so people accessing it through the Amazon application for the devices will get an interface tailored for the size and shape of their touch screens. Amazon offers its application for free through Apple's App store.

Amazon released its iPhone/iPod Touch application in March, showing that the retailer was interested in expanding its reach in the e-book market beyond its own Kindle reader. The application uses a version of the software that powers the Kindle.

Last month, Amazon bought Lexcycle, maker of the Stanza e-book reader for the Apple devices. Analysts believe Amazon eventually will use the technology in providing better access to its Kindle Store.

While the Kindle and other e-book readers offer screens far larger and better for reading that the Apple devices, the latter are considered good enough and could become popular as readers for commuters, short trips on subways and buses, and other limited uses. Apple has sold millions of the devices, making them even more attractive to retailers like Amazon.

Amazon sees its mobile application as a complement to the Kindle. The e-reader's software saves and synchronizes customers' bookmarks across Kindle, iPhone, and iPod Touch, so users can read a few pages on their Apple device and pickup where they left off on their Kindle.

Amazon has taken an early lead in the market with the popular Kindle. While the company doesn't release sales figures, Citigroup Global Markets estimates Amazon has sold an estimated 500,000 units last year, and could generate $1.2 billion in Kindle-related revenue by 2010, or about 4% of Amazon's total sales, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon is likely to face tougher competition from Sony and others in the near future. Rivals are expected to release new products and stores in mounting an aggressive challenge to Amazon.
 

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From the New York Times:

May 11, 2009, 3:02 pm
Amazon Updates Its Kindle App for the iPhone
By Brad Stone

In what sounds like a footnote to last week's introduction of the Kindle DX, but could ultimately prove to be far more important, Amazon has released a new version of its Kindle application for the iPhone.

In the latest version, users can click once directly from the application to buy any of Amazon's 280,000 e-books. The software automatically opens the Safari Web browser on the phone, initiating a purchase. In the older version, users had to awkwardly open Safari themselves, or buy books from their Kindle device and then let Amazon's "Whispersync" technology synchronize their Kindle library with the phone.

This is a simpler process, and perhaps a way for Amazon to avoid Apple's tariffs, since it bypasses Apple's recently announced in-application purchasing mechanism, as Charles Starrett of iLounge points out.

It's also more evidence that Amazon is two-tracking its Kindle strategy: it is introducing stand-alone Kindles, but hedging its bets and trying to spread the e-book store to far more popular devices like smartphones. Last week I asked Jeffrey P. Bezos, Amazon's chief executive, which of these was the more important component of his strategy. His answer, I think, suggests that despite all the hype around Kindle devices, Amazon primarily wants to be the dominant seller of electronic books themselves:

"We are committed to making Kindle books available on a vast array of devices. Whether you own a Kindle or not, we want you to buy Kindle books from us. With the Kindle device, we succeed in business only on the merits of how good the device is. If we can build the best reading device, then that is how we will succeed.

"But if you like to read books on the iPhone we want to support that too. We want to see Kindle books read anywhere. We have high standards, making sure Whispersync works. It is the seamlessness of what we are trying to achieve that we don't want to jeopardize. Those are the things we want to do, and we will roll out Kindle applications as broadly as we can."
 

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Wow!  What do you think of the estimate of 500,000 units sold last year?  Does that mean Kindle units or sales of all Kindle-related products?  I think however the market continues to grow can only be good for Kindle lovers!
 

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I love my amazon mobile and kindle apps, I did purchase some books last week directly on my phone. The kindle app automatically takes you to safari when you click get books, it would be easier if it took you directly to the kindle store but it's only 2 steps for me to just go directly to amazon mobile.
 
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