With Kindle App, Amazon Buys the Blackberry PlayBook Hype
Amazon is picking winners and losers in smartphones and tablets, and it's already deemed the Blackberry PlayBook a winner by promising a Kindle app.
The news of Kindle for Blackberry PlayBook landed within hours of Research in Motion's big tablet reveal, as Harry just noted, even though the PlayBook won't arrive until early next year. Amazon says the upcoming Kindle app supports the mantra of "Buy Once, Read Everywhere."
But as I look over the list of platforms Amazon already supports - iOS, Android, Blackberry, Mac, PC - I think that mantra needs tweaking. With no support for WebOS, no promises of support for Windows Phone 7, and native e-reading duties on Samsung's Galaxy Tab going to Kobo, let me propose a new slogan for Amazon's Kindle platform: "Buy Once, Read On the Devices We Believe In."
With smartphones, Amazon has played the waiting game with its support for non-Kindle devices. The iPhone app arrived in March 2009, a year after Apple announced the iPhone software development kit. A Kindle app for Blackberry arrived last February, and an Android app followed in June. I'm guessing that the lack of support for WebOS and WinPho7 is a matter of market share; the former hardly has any, and the latter can't prove itself until it's released this fall.
Tablets are a different story. Amazon was showing off its Kindle reader for iPad a full month before the device went on sale, and the company has promised a PlayBook app months before the device launches. The list of potential iPad rivals is long, but to my knowledge, Amazon hasn't pledged to support any of them except the PlayBook. (You could argue that Android tablet support already exists through the smartphone app, but I beg to differ until a version comes along specifically for large screens.)
Personally, I'm intrigued by the PlayBook, but until RIM provides a firm price and release date, and shows the device in action, I'll approach it with an ounce of skepticism. Amazon, apparently, will not.