Did Amazon Intentionally Cripple the Kindle iPhone App?

Ed Burnette:

Kindle for iPhone is nice for people who already have a Kindle or Kindle 2 who might find themselves away from their device with a little time to kill. However, Amazon seems to have taken steps to make sure the iKindle does not cannibalize sales of their $359 money maker. If, as Amazon claims, the big-screen Kindle e-ink reading experience is so much better than reading books on a phone, then why bother crippling the phone reader?

His complaints are that the Kindle iPhone app doesn’t have a search feature and doesn’t connect directly to the Kindle store, both valid complaints. But it’s possible Amazon simply hasn’t implemented them yet. (It’s also possible that Apple, not Amazon, objected to direct integration to the Kindle store.) And how sure are we that the $359 Kindle hardware is a “money maker” for Amazon? Especially given that it offers free-for-life EVDO networking, I strongly suspect it’s a loss-leader for selling books.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009