Don't Bet Against An Amazon Kindle Apps Store Revolution3:10 PM EST Thu. Jan. 21, 2010
You'd be a fool to bet against Amazon as it embarks on an aggressive campaign to break open the e-reader market with hundreds and even thousands of new apps in a new App Store for its Amazon Kindle e-reader.
Amazon kicked off its Kindle e-reader app assault Thursday by announcing that it is inviting software developers to build and upload content that will be available in the Kindle App Store later this year for download on the Kindle.
Make no mistake about it. There is a new mobile device app revolution that has been exploited expertly by Apple with its Apple App Store. (So far, Apple iPhone and iPod Touch owners have downloaded more than 3 billion applications from Apple's online App Store).
My bet is that, given the popularity of the Kindle, those same developers that have clamored to get their apps onto Apple's online App Store are going to be tripping over themselves to get into the Kindle App Store so they can get tap into the rapidly growing installed base of Kindle consumers.
It certainly is not a big stretch to see Amazon passing the one billion app download mark in 2010, given that on Christmas Day last year customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books. And remember the Kindle store now includes some 390,000 books.
Amazon realizes that the Kindle is in competition with smartphones and every other mobile device and the company is putting its money where its mouth is to drive an App explosion on the Kindle e-reader. The new Amazon Kindle Development Kit will provide access to developer support, the ability to test content on Kindle and submit finished content.
So just what kind of Apps are we likely to see on the Amazon Kindle e-reader? Well Amazon is already pointing to things like a cookbook application that can recommend menus based on the size of a party or allergies or a travel book that can suggest activities in a given city based on real-time weather and current events.
That said, the App frontier for the Kindle e-reader is likely to be as rich and varied as the thousands of developers that race to get a place in the Kindle App Store. How about a Get Fit e-book with an app that tracks your exercise, calories and updates you daily on your progress? Or how about a self help business book that quizzes you based on your specific job scenario and then offers you practical advice?
My bet is you'll see hundreds of innovative apps that are not tied to books, but extend the Kindle into more of a competitor with Smartphones and other mobile devices. How about a GPS app that helps you find a location whether you are walking or driving?
Amazon itself has conceded that the Amazon Kindle Development kit and the Kindle App Store will open new doors it never imagined possible. "The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities -- we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent," said Ian Freed, vice president, Amazon Kindle, in a prepared statement announcing the Kindle App Store.
Surprised indeed. My bet is a lot of e-reader competitors and even Apple with its highly successful App Store are going to be surprised by just how many developers flock to the Kindle App Store.
The Amazon App Store for Kindle's e-reader marks a new shot in the battle for mobile device dominance. Amazon knows we're living in the smartphone age and that the Kindle e-reader needs to provide more content for the buck than iPhone or any other mobile device. Look out Apple. Now Amazon has its own Kindle App Store.