Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Amazon's Kindle's Coming Competition

Yesterday I wrote a post concerning the coming, unanticipated and unintended consequences of high volumes of high-bandwidth multi-media wireless communications applications.

Along the same lines, the colleague with whom I discussed that topic has led me through the logic behind another coming unanticipated consequence of a recent technological development.

Amazon's Kindle ereader is on its second or third version by now. And other entities are hot on their heels with competing products. It's clearly another opportunity for an iPod and iTunes sort of system competition.

My colleague then observed that, now, about the least-used and simplest of iPhone applications is voice communication. The screen, fonts, and apps on the iPhone are all superior to other multi-media phones and communications appliances. In fact, it appears that Steve Jobs' relentless focus on special fonts for his products is bearing fruit on the current generation of small, hard-to-read screens.

But my colleague noted that, soon, all Apple has to do is put the iPhone on steroids and produce it as a tablet-sized reader.

When that arrives, Amazon's Kindle is toast. It will be a one-app device in a new, multi-app world.

How attractive will a Kindle be in a world in which an iPhone and its competitors, with rich communications applications, including voice, text, video store and messaging, cameras, all contain ereader apps, too?

My colleague showed me how reasonably clear the type and presentation of a current iPhone are. Apparently, the Kindle still has clarity issues. It's weak on actual readability, but alone, for now, in providing electronic access to material.

That is probably going to change in a few years.

Jeff Bezos might well be enjoying the halcyon years of his firm's ereader right now. Because once Apple arrives with a competitive product, I don't think Amazon's core skills will allow it to keep pace with the dominant US consumer technology firm.


Anonymous said...

The screen technology is drastically different between kindle & iPhone, so different, that Apple fonts might not be compatible with ink-like screens.

C Neul said...

Thanks for your comment.

I disagree. My friends with more detailed knowledge have explained that Apple's screen technology is already much better than the Kindle's, and will, in all likelihood, be so at a tablet-size, as well.

Additionally, in a technology battle, I'd give the edge to Apple over Amazon, a retailer which outsources their technology.