E-reading applications for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch would seem to challenge the Kindle as an e-book handheld device of choice. With Apple, however, Amazon has taken the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality, rolling out and then improving a Kindle application for iPhone. Amazon continues to optimize the platform, too, having recently upgraded to version 1.1, which includes different background colors and the ability to switch views on the iPhone. The Kindle app for iPhone gives Amazon exposure on one of the more popular smartphones out there and preserves the Kindle name, even if, as rumored, Apple rolls out a multipurpose tablet that can e-read, among other things.
Kindle Threat: Depends. An iPhone Kindle application might eventually make the Kindle device itself seem obsolete. But if e-book readers are using their iPhones and accessing Kindle content through the Kindle app, how much, exactly, is Amazon losing?