The e-reader which really popularized the category is under attack from the iPad and is fighting back - will these social media updates make a difference or is it too little too late?
When it comes to the tablet/e-book reader market, innovation is the biggest differentiator and while Amazon's Kindle is doing much better in the market than I first predicted, Apple is doing an even better job in this space courtesy of the iPad which is now up to 1,000,000 units and counting. Oh and did I mention 12 million iPad app downloads to date? To combat the threat from Apple, Amazon needs to innovate like crazy and they have done so in this new release 2.5 which has lots of innovative features such as integrating social media into book reading so you can now share book passages with your followers on Twitter or Facebook.
Other fun features allow you to organize books into collections, password-protect your device and zoom and pan PDF documents.
Most of these new additions are things you can do with an iPad except this: you can see popular highlights of the book you are reading based on the opinions of other Kindle readers. This is Amazon using its large community of users to its advantage. By exposing the thoughts of the user community Amazon has duplicated what makes its ecommerce Web site such a pleasure to use. This is out of the box thinking and Amazon should be commended for raising the bar in the e-reader market.
Still, Apple is a major force in the market and competing against the iPad and its hundreds of thousands of apps is close to impossible. Amazon better hope most potential Apple users will be turned off by the iPad's inability to be used in bright sunlight. And if that doesn't work plan B may just be buying a closet-full of black mock turtle-neck shirts for Jeff Bezos to parade around in.
Steve Jobs wears a turtle-neck a bit like this but while this one seems to be a wool-cashmere blend Jobs seems to prefer a cotton mix
It should be fairly obvious why I chose this picture
You think she is getting a call from the police alerting her to the fact that Apple doesn't want her wearing mock turtle-necked attire?
- Fast Company: Amazon Updates Kindle With Facebook and Twitter Support
- USA Today: Amazon adding Twitter, Facebook to Kindle e-reader
- Amazon.com: Kindle Software Update Version 2.5