updated 05:35 pm EDT, Tue August 10, 2010
Amazon mulling music, video players
Amazon is exploring making devices beyond the Kindle e-reader for the first time, multiple insiders explained on Tuesday. The online store purportedly wants to go beyond e-books and would make devices to ease "simple purchasing" of its content, such as from Amazon MP3 or Video On Demand. Music players and "other electronics" were discussed by the NYT sources, though which would be made wasn't definite.
Any projects may not be complete for a long time, they said, as Amazon is still in the midst of major acquisition and hiring sprees to get the necessary teams in place. Clues may have been dropped for gaming efforts as well as those with experience designing LCDs, none of which exist in significant form on the Kindle's e-paper displays. It recently bought Touchco to add multi-touch features to its hardware.
Expansion into other areas may be a personal focus of CEO Jeff Bezos, who is said to have founded Amazon's Lab126 hardware division with the goal of multiple categories and not just e-readers. Higher levels of the company may be openly angered by the inroads made by Apple, Barnes & Noble and other companies entering further into spaces it once thought were safe.
The iBookstore is estimated to have just a five percent share where Amazon has 61 percent. However, the iPad as a multi-role device possibly curbs Amazon's future music and video plans and is known to discourage future e-reader sales since it already fulfills that role.