Amazon on iPhone – Giving Up the White Whale?
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Come Amazon compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? Ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! Man has ye there. Swereve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!
Well, OK. It’s Ahab, not Amazon – that being a quote from “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville. However, Amazon has decided to jump from one whale to another as they will be offering an iPhone app that will allow people to read books from the popular device. So has Amazon jumped from their pursuit of one whale to another?
Apps enter the iPhone store everyday. There are apps that make noises from your computer, or let you play a game. There is a new one that will turn your screen into a 3-D experience. But Amazon’s app will finally start bringing the literary world into to iPhone. With an application to allow people to download and read books, Amazon has found a new corner in their market to explore.
However, Amazon was exploring a market with the Kindle. The newest version – the Kindle 2 – came out, but was received with some news that set back the e-reader. According to the Authors’ Guild, you cannot read aloud a book. If it wasn’t for the public license of Moby Dick, I wouldn’t have been able to read a word without ye hearties lookin for their bootie.
Kindle 2 offered an ability to read aloud what was on the screen. This would have been great for those who don’t really read or those that have visual impairments. Amazon quickly fixed by putting in an option for the book to say if it can be read aloud or if it must remain silent.
Now, Amazon is taking the software to the phone market. Makes sense – the Kindle is big and bulky whereas a phone is always by your side, which of course makes it easily accessible for when you are on the subway or just sitting around waiting.
Since iPhone is now dominating the Smartphone market, why not? Yes, it can be a form of competition – if I have the iPhone app, why would I need the Kindle?
However, this poises Amazon on a level that the Kindle couldn’t cover – MP3’s and Movies. By setting this up, they could easily put together newer software that also lets you download your favorite music, movies or games. That would give Amazon a better advantage.
ROKU just got Amazon on their set top box. If you remember back when Grand Theft Auto 4 came out, you were able to buy the music playing on the game through Amazon.com.
We are creatures of habit. Once we choose a method, we usually stick to it until something forces us to move on. Whether it be a site closing down or another company with a better product. So why not go through someone who is going to be around for years to come?
Not to say that Apple won’t be here. You can easily get MP3’s and Videos from Apples website, too. But how about books?
The next question is: Will the public adapt to reading on an iPhone? Think about it – you are on a subway, bouncing around. The print can be expanded to a decent level, but will you read on if you have to move the page around? I know I always hated reading on the Bus ride home from school, but I would definitely read it if I was sitting down.
It might be a good place to pull out the phone and read while on the thinker – er… toilet. Replace all the reading materials there.
Yes, Ahab, you have definitely found a whale. But which one will ye slaughter? The Big white one in Kindle, or the little Apple iPhone?