Amazon launched Kindle for the Mac Thursday and now has most of its bases covered ahead of the Apple iPad launch.
The e-commerce giant-and e-reader leader for now-has been making its Kindle store and e-books available for multiple platforms in recent months.
With Kindle for Mac (Techmeme), Amazon has the PC, Mac, iPhone and BlackBerry covered. The Kindle for Mac move was critical given that Apple's iTunes will soon launch a book store. The message: The Kindle is more than Amazon's device. That point will be especially noteworthy when Apple's iPad launches with its bookstore. It remains to be seen whether the iPad is a Kindle killer, but it's important that Amazon's Kindle content be visible on Apple's latest device.
By going to multiple platforms, Amazon is making sure that distribution isn't limited to any one device. It's a nice way of keeping users in the fold. For instance, I don't own a Kindle any more, but did read some of my Kindle books on the BlackBerry. The experience wasn't half bad, but I did miss the paper-like reading feel of the Kindle. When you look at a PC screen all day for a living the last thing I want is to look at another for leisure reading.
By moving to multiple platforms, Amazon can swamp any one device. All it needs now is an Android app.
How does all of this add up? Amazon has been positioning itself ahead of the iPad launch in just a few days. To wit:
- It is hiring developers to improve the Kindle's browsing abilities.
- Amazon acquired touch screen startup.
- The company launches BlackBerry app.
- Rolled out a new Kindle Development Kit for apps.
- Tweaked its royalty model.
- Jousted with publishers over pricing ahead of Apple's book store launch.
- And gave us a vague hint of Kindle sales.
Meanwhile, the Amazon Kindle pitches are hitting my inbox more than usual. Those pitches go like this:It's not a zero sum game, but the battle will be fun to watch. The big question: What will get me to go to the Kindle camp? A price cut may do the trick. If the Kindle falls below the $200 mark it's worth a look as a reading only device.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of TechRepublic.