When Amazon introduced the new Kindle 2 ebook reader, somewhat overlooked was what may end up being the most important announcement of all, that Amazon was looking to put the Kindle technology on other devices. It came much faster than I expected when last night I discovered the Kindle iPhone application was available.
The app itself is very well done and after purchasing my first Kindle book, opening the app synced my purchase right over to the iPhone, easy as can be. The reading experience on the iPhone is surprisingly good. Of course it’s no match for a real Kindle with the larger screen and eInk technology, but I was perfectly happy with the experience. You can control font sizes, create book marks and the software remembers where you left off.
It’s a significant development because it effectively drives the price for a Kindle reader down to $199 from a regular Kindle price of $359. For people who already own the iPhone, which is far more people than the Kindle device, the app to add Kindle functionality is free. This is going to put Kindle books into far more hands far quicker than Amazon could do on it’s own. It will also likely sell more Kindle hardware as well as people want to upgrade to a better reading experience. As I said in the last podcast, Amazon is in the book sales business not the hardware business. This is a great first step and I can’t wait to see where else Kindle technology shows up.