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Amazon brings Kindle eBook library to the iPhone

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
On the same day that AppleInsider has published its review of the Kindle 2, Amazon is spreading its e-book library beyond its proprietary digital reader to Apple's handheld devices with a new Kindle app that's available for download from the App Store.

Early last month Amazon dropped hints that its Kindle-formatted e-books would soon become available on a range of mobile phones, leading to speculation that the iPhone and iPod touch could be included. Wednesday's announcement means Amazon has joined Google's Book Search in the iPhone marketplace.

"We are excited to bring the new Kindle application to Apple's App Store and think customers are going to love how easy and fun it is to read their Kindle books on the iPhone and iPod touch," said Amazon Kindle vice president Ian Freed. "Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch is a great way for customers to catch up on their current book wherever they are, like in line at the grocery store or between meetings."

Like on the Kindle device itself, the iPhone app (App Store link) lets users add bookmarks and adjust the text size of digital books. Amazon says it will also allow iPhone owners to "view notes and highlights" that were created on the Kindle. Unfortunately, annotations cannot be created on the app.

Since all purchased Kindle books are linked to an Amazon account, users of the iPhone app must purchase new ebook titles through Amazon.com using a web browser, or make purchases directly on the Kindle. Those titles can then be pulled into the Kindle iPhone app the next time it's launched. In all, Amazon advocates "hundreds of thousands" of ebooks to choose from.

The app uses Amazon's Whispersync technology, meaning the place where the reader stopped is automatically synced to every device. This allows Kindle customers to read a few pages on their iPhone or iPod touch and then pick up right where they left off on their Kindle or Kindle 2.

The online retailer is hoping the app might lead to more sales of its new Kindle 2 device, which was updated last month (and reviewed today in depth by AppleInsider's Prince McLean).



This intention to sell more Kindles is made clear on the App Store description: "Books you purchase can also be read on Kindle and Kindle 2, Amazon's portable readers that wirelessly download books, newspapers, magazines and blogs to a crisp, high-resolution 6-inch electronic-paper display that looks and reads like real paper."

According to the AP, Freed sees the app as a way to introduce non-Kindle owners to the device while at the same time giving Kindle owners another way to read their content.



He said Amazon has been working on the app for several months. One advantage the iPhone has over the Kindle is books intended to be seen in color can be displayed that way. The Kindle's screen is capable of only showing only 16 shades of gray.

On the other hand, the iPhone version lacks text-to-speech and the larger Kindle screen. The iPhone and iPod touch are the first mobile devices to get Kindle access.
post #2 of 52
Like I said in the comment area of the Kindle Review:

I think Amazon Put a gun in there mouth and pulled the trigger when they released an iPhone version of the Kindle. So if I can download this app for FREE, and then just pay for my books from Amazon, whats the point of spending $200+ on a Kindle?

The iPhone is basically a kindle. BUT, with a better internet browser, e-mail, an iPod, and a cellphone all in one... and of course no E-ink.

I understand this is Amazons way of getting people to buy a Kindle. But, I think its too soon to put this App out on Apple's app store.
post #3 of 52
jenk, I think you're missing the point. I don't think that Amazon is in the business of building "Kindles" for its own sake. They are building Kindles so that they can sell their e-books. And if they can do that freely to the iPhone users without having to convince them first to get a Kindle, that's a good thing, not a bad thing.

Let's face it. A Kindle still costs money to produce. An iPhone app is almost inexpensive, and an e-book is even cheaper than a CD. So they have little to invest and a huge market to grab. It's a no brainer.
post #4 of 52
U.S. only.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post

jenk, I think you're missing the point. I don't think that Amazon is in the business of building "Kindles" for its own sake. They are building Kindles so that they can sell their e-books. And if they can do that freely to the iPhone users without having to convince them first to get a Kindle, that's a good thing, not a bad thing.

Let's face it. A Kindle still costs money to produce. An iPhone app is almost inexpensive, and an e-book is even cheaper than a CD. So they have little to invest and a huge market to grab. It's a no brainer.

So if They are not making money off of the Kindles, then whats the point in even selling them? If I recall, the Kindle 1 only had a half million sales come out from it. I am not a business man of any sorts but, I think Amazon lost money rather earned any profit from selling this device.

Please, don't think I am bashing the Kindle, because I am not. I am simply saying that I don't think Amazon should have started selling e-books on the iPhone first, with an app called Kindle. If that was successful, Then you go build your own Hardware. (and made it cheap)
post #6 of 52
I see a large screen ipod in our future.
post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

Like I said in the comment area of the Kindle Review:

I think Amazon Put a gun in there mouth and pulled the trigger when they released an iPhone version of the Kindle. So if I can download this app for FREE, and then just pay for my books from Amazon, whats the point of spending $200+ on a Kindle?

The iPhone is basically a kindle. BUT, with a better internet browser, e-mail, an iPod, and a cellphone all in one... and of course no E-ink.

I understand this is Amazons way of getting people to buy a Kindle. But, I think its too soon to put this App out on Apple's app store.

It's the equivalent of Apple making an iTunes version for PC- it's all about penetration.
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by douglogic View Post

I see a large screen ipod in our future.

Hopefully in my lifetime.
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's the equivalernt of Apple making an iTunes version for PC- it's all about penetration.

and we all know anything that involves Windows sucks. Once again, i am not saying the iphone or kindle are not worth it.

iphone- is worth it

kindle- still not ready for the market
post #10 of 52
Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com : $400.00

Downloading an iPhone app to read Kindle books : FREE.

Which would you choose?

Dan
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan uff View Post

Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com : $400.00

Downloading an iPhone app to read Kindle books : FREE.

Which would you choose?

Dan

If you're a serious reader- Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com for $359.

Reading a book on an iPhone is like watching "Lawrence of Arabia" on it- good not great.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

So if They are not making money off of the Kindles, then whats the point in even selling them? If I recall, the Kindle 1 only had a half million sales come out from it. I am not a business man of any sorts but, I think Amazon lost money rather earned any profit from selling this device.

Please, don't think I am bashing the Kindle, because I am not. I am simply saying that I don't think Amazon should have started selling e-books on the iPhone first, with an app called Kindle. If that was successful, Then you go build your own Hardware. (and made it cheap)

I see this as the opposite business strategy from iTunes. Apple created the iTunes Store to promote sales of iPods. They aren't (or at least didn't) try to make a profit off the sale of content.

Amazon created the Kindle to promote sales of ebooks. They aren't trying to make a profit off the sales of hardware. If the sale of content is their primary goal, why should they care if the viewer is hardware they sell or software on an iPhone? The hardware they sell is just another way to sell content, in particular to the avid book readers who would want a bigger screen than the iPhone has.
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I see this as the opposite business strategy from iTunes. Apple created the iTunes Store to promote sales of iPods. They aren't (or at least didn't) try to make a profit off the sale of content.

Amazon created the Kindle to promote sales of ebooks. They aren't trying to make a profit off the sales of hardware. If the sale of content is their primary goal, why should they care if the viewer is hardware they sell or software on an iPhone? The hardware they sell is just another way to sell content, in particular to the avid book readers who would want a bigger screen than the iPhone has.

Exactly right. Amazon stands to make much more money selling books than selling Kindles. Apple makes more money selling iPods than selling music. Both want to make money on both activities, but their priorities are opposite one another.

This is a good move for both Amazon and Apple (and leaves Sony and their cool Reader out in the cold).
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

If you're a serious reader- Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com for $359.

Reading a book on an iPhone is like watching "Lawrence of Arabia" on it- good not great.

I agree. I bought my wife a Kindle 1 for her b-day last year. We both use it. Definitely pricey, but convenience-wise it's great (i.e. can't sleep at 1:00 AM and looking for something to read is fixed instantly with it around). The main problem is that we only own 1 and occasionally that means one of us has to wait for the other to be finished with it.

However, we both have Iphones. Suddenly this means we now have effectively 3 kindles in the house, no lines no waiting, and everything synced up (I downloaded it a little while ago and it brought me right to the last page I had been previously reading).

Eye-strain wise I'll definitely choose the Kindle, but for out on the road and/or waiting for the other person to put it down, this is a great thing.

I see this app as nothing but win for Amazon.
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

So if They are not making money off of the Kindles, then whats the point in even selling them? If I recall, the Kindle 1 only had a half million sales come out from it. I am not a business man of any sorts but, I think Amazon lost money rather earned any profit from selling this device.

Please, don't think I am bashing the Kindle, because I am not. I am simply saying that I don't think Amazon should have started selling e-books on the iPhone first, with an app called Kindle. If that was successful, Then you go build your own Hardware. (and made it cheap)

Again... the device is what's called a 'loss leader'. If they lose a million a year selling Kindles, but make 10 million selling the books, they're successful... very successful.
Its the old model of giving away razors but selling the blades.
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan uff View Post

Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com : $400.00

Downloading an iPhone app to read Kindle books : FREE.

Which would you choose?

Dan

If you already have an iPhone, then yes, why buy a Kindle?
If not, then "Hey, if I buy an iPhone, I can get this FREE app to read books! What a deal!"
As previously noted, reading a book on either device is a completely diffferent experience.

Buying an iPhone from ATT/Apple : $199 + $70 a month for 24 months = $1879
Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com : $400.00
Different products, different markets.

Which would you choose?
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

If you're a serious reader- Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com for $359.

Reading a book on an iPhone is like watching "Lawrence of Arabia" on it- good not great.

Very good post.

Serious readers will have a Kindle. I do. We will also have our iPhones for those times we don't have our Kindle on us.

Amazon gets a cut from every ebook sale. That's the point to the iPhone App.
Hard-Core.
Reply
Hard-Core.
Reply
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan uff View Post

Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com : $400.00

Downloading an iPhone app to read Kindle books : FREE.

Which would you choose?

Dan

If I could buy the Kindle in the UK I would choose it over myiPhone or iPod touch for reading a book every time.

The iPhone screen is just too small and consumes too much power to be used for any kind of extended reading.

I like to read a book for 1-2 hours at a time, there is no way I would or could do that on the iPhone.

The Kindle screen is like reading paper, no flicker, no backlight, no eye strain.

For book reading the Kindle would win every time.
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

The iPhone is basically a kindle.

Sure, and a 17" TV is basically a 52" TV.
You see exactly the same programs after all.

Talk about people unclear on the concept!
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

U.S. only.

I think the same goes for Kindle. Even though the Internet is international, the rights for most books and media aren't, they're already split off by country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

Like I said in the comment area of the Kindle Review:

I think Amazon Put a gun in there mouth and pulled the trigger when they released an iPhone version of the Kindle. So if I can download this app for FREE, and then just pay for my books from Amazon, whats the point of spending $200+ on a Kindle?

The iPhone is basically a kindle. BUT, with a better internet browser, e-mail, an iPod, and a cellphone all in one... and of course no E-ink.

I understand this is Amazons way of getting people to buy a Kindle. But, I think its too soon to put this App out on Apple's app store.

You are missing something here. Amazon has to compete against the apps that offer books on the iPhone. While there is a lot of overlap between the people that have or might buy a Kindle and those that might buy or own an iPhone, I don't think this is a big problem. I think it's better to offer people what they want, within as reasonable time frame as feasible, rather than stall and maybe they'll jump to some other option.
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Again... the device is what's called a 'loss leader'. If they lose a million a year selling Kindles, but make 10 million selling the books, they're successful... very successful.
Its the old model of giving away razors but selling the blades.

Exactly. And what happens when the customer realizes that they've spent a fair chunk of cash on ebooks with Amazon's DRM, but after spending a couple of hours sitting under a tree and reading an iPhone, has a dead battery and bloodshot eyes?

"So I can do this better for $359? I suppose that's worth considering."

In our bankrupt but utterly decadent, debt-driven society, considering pretty well means buying.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Very good post.

Serious readers will have a Kindle. I do. We will also have our iPhones for those times we don't have our Kindle on us.

Amazon gets a cut from every ebook sale. That's the point to the iPhone App.

The best thing is that the two devices work together. When you are in the middle of a book on the Kindle and you pick up your iPhone the Kindle app there knows where you left off and opens the book to that page automatically. And when you go back to your Kindle the same thing happens.

If you are trying to read in a dimly lit area the Kindle is not going to work, but the backlit iPhone will. Also the current iPhone is not as bad a size for reading text as you might suspect. What you get is equivalent to a newspaper column width of text which is ideal for speedreading. It can actually be faster to pound through an article set at the width of a standard newspaper column than one formatted at the width of a paperback novel.
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

Like I said in the comment area of the Kindle Review:

I think Amazon Put a gun in there mouth and pulled the trigger when they released an iPhone version of the Kindle. So if I can download this app for FREE, and then just pay for my books from Amazon, whats the point of spending $200+ on a Kindle?

The iPhone is basically a kindle. BUT, with a better internet browser, e-mail, an iPod, and a cellphone all in one... and of course no E-ink.

I understand this is Amazons way of getting people to buy a Kindle. But, I think its too soon to put this App out on Apple's app store.


I think you're completely wrong. The app demonstrates how inadequate an iPhone is for reading books. The screen is waaaay to small, it's too taxing on your eyes to read a single, long-form piece for an hour on a backlit screen.

You'll be BEGGING for paper--or at least something closer to paper, like ePaper?--within 10 minutes.

I know I was.

The best thing about this app is that if you're stuck somewhere without your Kindle and you have some time to kill, with whispersync at least you'd be able to read some more of your book for a little while.

Unless your eyes start hurting right away...
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan uff View Post

Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com : $400.00

Downloading an iPhone app to read Kindle books : FREE.

Which would you choose?

Dan


Buying an iPhone for $199

Getting a free phone when you sign up for service.

Which would you choose?

You get what you pay for.

The upsides to Kindle's hardware RELEVANT TO PURPOSE grossly outweigh "Free on iPhone". iPhone hardware sucks for use as a book reader.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by God of Biscuits View Post

I think you're completely wrong. The app demonstrates how inadequate an iPhone is for reading books. The screen is waaaay to small, it's too taxing on your eyes to read a single, long-form piece for an hour on a backlit screen.

You'll be BEGGING for paper--or at least something closer to paper, like ePaper?--within 10 minutes.

I know I was.

The best thing about this app is that if you're stuck somewhere without your Kindle and you have some time to kill, with whispersync at least you'd be able to read some more of your book for a little while.

Unless your eyes start hurting right away...

Everyone's needs and wants vary. Some people claim they've read entire books on iPhone, like you, I'm nowhere nearly that tenacious. At the moment, the best solution for me is still paper. I think the ebook concept, be it either on a Kindle-like device or iPhone-like device, is still a couple product generations from being relevant to me, so maybe two years. That might be optimistic, because I like higher dpi.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by snodman View Post

The best thing is that the two devices work together. When you are in the middle of a book on the Kindle and you pick up your iPhone the Kindle app there knows where you left off and opens the book to that page automatically. And when you go back to your Kindle the same thing happens.

If you are trying to read in a dimly lit area the Kindle is not going to work, but the backlit iPhone will. Also the current iPhone is not as bad a size for reading text as you might suspect. What you get is equivalent to a newspaper column width of text which is ideal for speedreading. It can actually be faster to pound through an article set at the width of a standard newspaper column than one formatted at the width of a paperback novel.

It would be cool if the Kindle app could also read the article like the Kindle does without having to whip out the Kindle. That would be great for the subway - listening to the NY Times on the iPhone/Touch after the download. But I am excited to get the NY Times on my Touch now- I really dislike fondling paper on the subway. I plan to get a Kindle for that purpose alone- reading the news on the train.
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Exactly right. Amazon stands to make much more money selling books than selling Kindles. Apple makes more money selling iPods than selling music. Both want to make money on both activities, but their priorities are opposite one another.

This is a good move for both Amazon and Apple (and leaves Sony and their cool Reader out in the cold).

Well put. Both Amazon and Apple expand markets for each other. I don't see what the debate in this thread is all about. It sounds a lot like arguments for the sake of arguing.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Well put. Both Amazon and Apple expand markets for each other. I don't see what the debate in this thread is all about. It sounds a lot like arguments for the sake of arguing.

I'm just disappointed because I didn't want to need a Kindle. Now Amazon is sneaking it into my life.

Diabolical.
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

If you already have an iPhone, then yes, why buy a Kindle?
If not, then "Hey, if I buy an iPhone, I can get this FREE app to read books! What a deal!"
As previously noted, reading a book on either device is a completely diffferent experience.

Buying an iPhone from ATT/Apple : $199 + $70 a month for 24 months = $1879
Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com : $400.00
Different products, different markets.

Which would you choose?

Also depends if I want two products or one. And how big a purse I have
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

and we all know anything that involves Windows sucks.

And for this particular application, it's the iPhone that sucks. Try it, you'll hate it. Seriously. You can do it for free just by pushing the first chapter for free from any Kindle book you'd like.
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

...The iPhone is basically a kindle. BUT, with a better internet browser, e-mail, an iPod, and a cellphone all in one... and of course no E-ink.

You forgot that the iPhone comes with a minimum investment of a couple thousand bucks. The Kindle's networking is done for nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by God of Biscuits View Post

I think you're completely wrong. The app demonstrates how inadequate an iPhone is for reading books. The screen is waaaay to small, it's too taxing on your eyes to read a single, long-form piece for an hour on a backlit screen.

Not to mention finding your battery life gets crapped on, which is pretty bad when it's your phone too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan uff View Post

Buying a Kindle from Amazon.com : $400.00

Downloading an iPhone app to read Kindle books : FREE.

Which would you choose?

Dan


You believe consumers make decisions based solely on whatever is the cheapest option? Well, it's cheaper to eat at home, but there are many restaurants out there last I checked. Going to your folks' house for vacation is pretty cheap, but I'm planning to visit Europe... etc etc.

The fact is that the iPhone and Kindle, while sharing functionality, will have very different reading experiences.

Oh, and you forgot:

Downloading an iPhone app to read Kindle books : FREE. (except for the $2000 or so lifetime cost of the phone contract).
post #32 of 52
Perhaps people who have been reluctant to shell out $359 for a Kindle will try this app. Once they buy books they may decide a bigger screen is what they want and decide to go for the Kindle too.

Does anyone know if Kindle-format books can be bought from anyone other than Amazon?
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg13 View Post

I agree. I bought my wife a Kindle 1 for her b-day last year. We both use it. Definitely pricey, but convenience-wise it's great (i.e. can't sleep at 1:00 AM and looking for something to read is fixed instantly with it around). The main problem is that we only own 1 and occasionally that means one of us has to wait for the other to be finished with it.

However, we both have Iphones. Suddenly this means we now have effectively 3 kindles in the house, no lines no waiting, and everything synced up (I downloaded it a little while ago and it brought me right to the last page I had been previously reading).

Eye-strain wise I'll definitely choose the Kindle, but for out on the road and/or waiting for the other person to put it down, this is a great thing.

I see this app as nothing but win for Amazon.

you're gonna really appreciate the lighted screen on the iPhone, too, when reading in bed. I know i did.
post #34 of 52
I can't stand this portrait-only limitation; Stanza lets you rotate into widescreen such that more than 5 words appear per line (without shifting to tiny type). I hope they enable this on the Kindle software too, then I'll jump ship.

Oh, I also hope they somehow figure out a way to let you buy content right on the iPhone. Is this a limitation of the SDK?
post #35 of 52
Cool that Amazon has put the reader on the App Store. Has anyone tested it out? What do you think of it?

I downloaded "A Christmas Carol" from the App Store in December and it came with it's own reader. What was so cool about it is that instead of having to scroll through the book you could just tilt the iPhone a bit. the more you tipped it, the faster the scroll. With iPhone's screen size this was much more preferable than scrolling with your finger. I'm hoping Amazon's Kindle reader functions similarly. I can't imagine reading on the iPhone any other way.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by God of Biscuits View Post

... The app demonstrates how inadequate an iPhone is for reading books. The screen is waaaay to small, it's too taxing on your eyes to read a single, long-form piece for an hour on a backlit screen.

You'll be BEGGING for paper--or at least something closer to paper, like ePaper?--within 10 minutes.

I know I was.

Your post just shows how diverse different people's experiences can be. I just finished reading my first book on my iPhone and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

I read on the iPhone for one to two hours a night and never found the text size (which is adjustable, btw) problematic. I had to flip pages more often than i'd turn a page in a physical book, but I quickly stopped noticing that. There was almost no noticeable drain on the battery during those reading sessions. Simply put, i had an entirely different experience than you. No doubt some will react as you did, and some as I did.

I suspect i'll end up getting about half my books in physical form, when i'm in a bookstore or airport newsstand. I'll enjoy reading the e-books in bed at night on a lighted screen. On a short trip, I might carry a single physical book. On a three-week road trip this summer, i'll load half a dozen books on the iPhone: Why carry a pound or several pounds of books when i have to pack light? And I'll always keep at least one book on the iPhone for those occasions (doctor's office; stuck in traffic; waiting to pick up my daughter; etc) when i suddenly realize i need a diversion, and am glad to have a good book with me in my phone. In all those cases, I'll thoroughly enjoy the reading experience.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

Like I said in the comment area of the Kindle Review:
The iPhone is basically a kindle.

Yeah, right. And you are basically not thinking straight.
post #38 of 52
There are free samples available for nearly every book title, and there are many free titles, such as those in the public domain.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

U.S. only.

Yeah, that's very sad. Copyright issue or what ?
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

U.S. only.

yeah. sadly not available on the Canadian iTunes store. likely the dreaded 'content providers' again... seems to me that everybody likes to talk up the 'global market', while in reality everything is run by cartells...
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