Yup, Your iPhone Can Be a Kindle, Too–Starting Now

By  |  Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 10:31 pm

iPhone KindleIt may not have been inevitable, but it was a darn good idea–and it’s extremely cool to learn it’s reality, not just wishful thinking. Starting tomorrow, Amazon.com will be distributing a free iPhone application that puts Kindle e-books on the phone, giving owners of Apple’s handset access to by far the most comprehensive source of commercial published works. Not only will books you’ve bought for a Kindle be available on the iPhone, too, but stuff like your location within a tome will travel between Kindle and iPhone (a feature Amazon calls Whispersync).

What a win-win-win-win situation–it’ll be a boon for people who own both a Kindle and an iPhone, for people who own just an iPhone, and for Amazon and Apple. I can’t imagine that Amazon will lose a single sale of Kindle hardware because iPhones can double as Kindle readers–if you want to read dozens or hundreds of pages at a sitting, you’ll want the large screen and marathon battery life of a Kindle device. But the iPhone makes more sense when you’re out and about, sans Kindle, and want to kill a few minutes by dipping into a book.

You gotta think that Amazon may end up selling not only more Kindle books–the number of Kindle-compatible gizmos in the world will skyrocket tomorrow–but also more Kindle readers, since some iPhone owners will be more likely to spring for a reader once they’ve bought and enjoyed books on their phone.

I imagine everyone will take the fact that Apple okayed the Kindle application for the iPhone as evidence it’s not getting into the e-book biz itself. Probably. But not definitely. For one thing, I’m not sure if even Apple would nix an application in a market it hadn’t yet entered unless it clearly violated it developer agreement. For another, is it utterly unthinkable that Apple might come out with a jumbo iPod Touch for which book-reading was one significant application…and work with Amazon, who has more knowledge and contacts relating to books than Apple could ever develop, to sell the content?

[UPDATE: It’s available–if you’ve got iTunes, click here and you’ll go to the app. More soon…]

[UPDATED UPDATE: Here’s my review.]


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. patrickfelstead Says:

    Unfortunately the app is not available in the Australian App store 🙁

  2. tced Says:

    What is the battery life of reading a book in the Iphone compared to a Kindle?
    What is the storage capacity comparison? (ie how many books can I store on an Iphone compared to a Kindle?)

  3. iPhone Mom Says:

    I just bought an iPhone after having a Blackberry for almost 5 years. The iPhone is SOOOOO much cooler!
    I also just downloaded my first game from the app store, JigSee, which allows you to take a picture with the iPhone camera and then it turns it into a jigsaw puzzle. The kids love it!

  4. Gigngame Says:


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