Amazon has slowly been rolling out Kindle functionality to a range of devices that have nothing to do with its own Kindle hardware except that, with the addition of a dedicated app, they’re capable of being ebook readers.
Last month, Amazon released a Kindle app for Apple’s iPhone and a standalone Kindle desktop app for those of us who’d like to read ebooks from the comfort of our desks. It’s certainly an interesting idea, and one that ensures that Amazon’s customers are more open to the idea of picking up a piece of its own Kindle branded hardware, having already interacted with the hardware.
Now, word has emerged via Fudzilla that Amazon is to widen its reach further still, bringing a Kindle reader app to RIM’s BlackBerries at some stage early in 2010, which lines up neatly indeed with the supposed release of a Kindle app for Mac OS X. The question for most of us is whether or not this represents a shift away from Amazon’s own hardware, or simply a move to expose a wider audience to Amazon’s digital services in an attempt to net wider interest in its services.
Moreover, having Kindle apps available across a multitude of devices also extends the reach of Amazon’s vastly successful Kindle store, which allows Kindle owners (and now iPhone and PC-based users) to purchase digital books directly from Amazon. Certainly, it’s in Amazon’s best interest to have as many users as possible engaging with its digital bookshop, not just for the rake of profit they must make off it, but for the fact that it’s helping to build trust.
Amazon’s service is clearly diverging fairly quickly from Sony’s, which remains fairly firmly rooted to its own Reader line of hardware. Still, Sony’s Readers boast support for Google Books, so both services still offer their own individual bonuses. It looks as though the ebook war won’t be ending anytime soon.