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Amazon's Kindle app for iPad includes color e-books

updated 07:55 am EDT, Mon March 22, 2010

Kindle iPad app gets edge over Amazon's device

Amazon today gave an early look at its Kindle App for Tablet Computers as an indicator of what to expect on the iPad. The new version is optimized for the larger screens and includes a more visual book browser as well as a more natural page view that, like on the iPad, curls the page in reaction to a reader's finger. Amazon's tablet edition actually provides more features than on the Kindle itself as it supports color photos that the Kindle hardware's e-reader can't display.

The app still supports the full Kindle Whispersync feature and will download all purchased content. Annotations, highlights and notes can be created and synced over, and bookmarks will remember the exact place even as the page count changes going from smaller devices like the iPhone or 6-inch Kindle. On at least the iPad, however, Apple's royalty rules for in-app purchases have led Amazon to use a web browser for purchasing rather than a customized app.

When the app will be available isn't known, but it's not expected to ship side-by-side with the iPad.

Creating the app is consistent with Amazon's approach of making the Kindle store available on as many devices as possible, including Macs, Windows PCs and the BlackBerry, but nonetheless represents an unusual step to cater to a device that most expect will be the Kindle's most direct competition. Amazon is currently believed to be waging a book rights war with Apple in a bid to prevent Apple from having a comparable library, but deals with at least five major publishers are poised to give the iPad and the iBookstore a largely similar catalog.





By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004

    +6

    Of course

    Amazon might make short-term profits (maybe) on the Kindle hardware, but they are going to make long term profits on selling their ebooks. Of course they want to also provide support for the iPad. This move is just common sense.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +3

    iPod and iPhone

    Seems weird but they already sell much more e-books for the iPhone platform, the Kindle was only a means to dominate the market before Apple. Now its all about the books.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +3

    My Kindle - A One-Trick Pony

    I bought a Kindle eons ago and found myself using it a lot - until the iPhone Kindle app came out. Suddenly I was reading all of my Kindle books through the iPhone. The Kindle has since been collecting dust.

    But with Kindle for iPad, I'll not only preserve my (admittedly meager) investment in a dozen or so ebooks I purchased from Amazon, I'll undoubtedly buy more from them.

    My Kindle is a device that essentially only runs one app that I want; if a vastly-improved version of that one app is available on the iPad (a device that runs multiple apps I that I want), then I'm going to go that route for sure. Future Kindles may offer more, but by then I'll be so far into the iPad that switching back to (after actually purchasing) a new Kindle device is going to be an incredibly tough sell at the bare minimum.

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +4

    Ironic, innit?

    If you want to see the future of the Kindle (or of e-books generally), buy an iPad.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -8

    Re: Ironic, innit

    And I wonder how many platforms Apple will be porting their book reader. Probably none.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re:My Kindle

    But with Kindle for iPad, I'll not only preserve my (admittedly meager) investment in a dozen or so ebooks I purchased from Amazon, I'll undoubtedly buy more from them.

    Except, due to Apple's pressure, those Kindle books will start going up in price, and you'll be irritated by that like so many Kindle owners are, and just stop buying books from them.

  1. James Katt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    +3

    Amazon LOSES money on many Kindle Books

    What is so ironic is that, while Apple makes money on every iBook book, Amazon LOSES money on many Kindle Books - particularly the best sellers - until it can get a contract similar to what Apple got from every major publisher.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +5

    Re: Apple's Pressure

    Good morning, Testy! (And I was worried my week wouldn't start off right.)

    Well, if Amazon raises their prices due to Apple's pressure or, per James Katt's point keeps losing money on them at whatever price point, or otherwise adopts a business model/pricing scheme that negatively impacts them, that's up to them. Of course, one would think that Amazon could get a decent contract from every major publisher seeing as how the cornerstone of their business (at least used to be) books.

    As far as Apple releasing its e-book reader app for other platforms, why would it? The whole point is to experience the Apple reader on an iPad. Don't get it, do you?

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +4

    Kindle: Short Shelf Life

    I've always seen the Kindle as an extremely limited, transitional device.

    With the iPad announcement, Amazon must be aware that Kindle's moment in the sun is nearly over and realize that selling content will bring them more profit than hardware.

    Amazon simply cannot hope to match Apple's hardware and software prowess coupled with economies of scale in manufacturing as well as the huge amount of content Apple offers through the iTunes and App Stores and the ease that it's all served.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: Show Amazon LOSES money on many Kindle Books

    What is so ironic is that, while Apple makes money on every iBook book, Amazon LOSES money on many Kindle Books - particularly the best sellers - until it can get a contract similar to what Apple got from every major publisher.

    Oh, how is this wrong? And in so many ways, too.

    First, Apple doesn't even sell books at the moment, so where you get that they make money on every one sold? Or is it that we all make money on every book we sell (which, since we don't sell any, is a meaningless statement too).

    Second, Apple supposedly will garner 30% of the price of a book sale. But that does not mean they will make money. There are costs involved in selling books, just like Apps and music. Thus, any profit they do make (after costs such as bandwidth, hosting, contracts, overhead, etc, etc, etc) will be minimal, at best.

    Finally, Apple's goal isn't to make money from the books. They're hoping selling books will drive interest in the book-reading public to purchase an iPad (this is the group that would otherwise not buy the device, BTW, not for those who placed their order the second they heard Steve Jobs say 'iPad').

    So, the question is "Is Amazon selling books to sell books or selling books to sell Kindles?" If the latter, than the price is immaterial to them, since, like Apple, the goal is to sell the hardware. If the former, then it might be troublesome, but they need to create a market before they can sell them at 'regular' price.

    Of course, this is all assuming your 'inside information' on them losing money is correct at all.

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