It's become crystal clear that Amazon's Kindle is a hit, and though some of its competitors have been doing pretty well too, Kindle was recently revealed to be Amazon's best-selling product ever.
You don't have to own a Kindle to read Kindle books though. Amazon has gone out of its way to bring in Kindle lovers who may happen to own an iPhone, and Android phone, an iPad, etc. Owners of these devices won't necessarily want another device to carry around, and why should they when they can just download an app to the one they're already carrying around and read Kindle books from there?
Amazon is now bringing Kindle to a slew of other devices, as the company announced the release of Kindle apps specifically tailored to Android and Windows-based tablets. Last year, Amazon launched a special Kindle iPad app, and now other growing tablet devices will have their own versions as well.
The timing for these apps couldn't be better. This week is the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, in which manufacturers will unveil numerous new tablets, thirstily going for the iPad's throat. Many of these will run Android and Windows. Kindle, the established e-reader and widely loved brand can only help these devices' chances of attracting consumers as an alternative to Apple's popular iPad.
Amazon does hope people will be happy to carry around both a tablet and a Kindle, or at least both in different circumstances. "Kindle is light weight, easy on the eyes with a paper-like Pearl e-ink display, and has a full month of battery life. It's purpose-built for reading. Many people are buying both a Kindle and an LCD tablet computer," said Dorothy Nicholls, Amazon's Director of Kindle. "We're very excited to support the upcoming Android and Windows LCD tablet computers with free Kindle apps that we'll tailor for the particular devices."
"Our Whispersync technology makes it simple to move back and forth between devices. Read on your Kindle, read on your tablet, read on your phone," adds Nicholls. "We'll keep track of your last page read, and make it easy."
Will the Kindle Continue to Thrive as a Device?
2011 is going to be an interesting year for the Kindle, and the e-reader and tablet spaces. 2010 was a great year for Amazon's product, but the new tablet market is just getting started. The iPad was available for most of 2010, but we're really only now going to start seeing the competition heating up and the wider adoption of this kind of device.
Amazon's Kindle is going to have to compete with devices that do a lot more things than let users read books. Amazon is going to have to continue to innovate with its Kindle to give consumers reasons to own them.
I believe the Kindle brand will live a great deal longer in app and e-book form than in device form, despite an impressive year. Amazon is smart to optimize the Kindle experience across as many devices as possible, but at the same time, doesn't it reduce the need for the Kindle itself?
According to Forrester, tablet sales will more than double in the U.S. this year.