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Amazon announced today their Kindle for Tablets application which will be available on the iPad.  This follows their recent announcement of Kindle for Mac just last week.  I personally couldn’t help but think, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join them” – I think that is the approach Amazon is taking here and it is a good one too.  Here’s why.

Amazon cannot battle Apple when it comes to the “sex appeal” of the device.  In fact, not many companies can, if any, I can’t think of any currently.  Nonetheless, aside from that, it would not be in Amazon’s best interest to get into a device and/or format war with Apple either.  It is likely they would lose for a couple of reasons.  The first being if you were going to buy an iPad or a Kindle – most people would buy the iPad.  It has more capabilities and it has the Apple logo on it.  The second being the familiarity, most people are aware of Apple’s “ease of use” positioning strategy and know that Apple makes both the hardware and the software to “just work” (if I may).  Meanwhile, even though the Kindle has been out now for a while and has some popularity, it hasn’t been a break-out product.  Additionally, most people associate Amazon as an online retailer, not a hardware and/or software company.

So essentially what Amazon is doing here is using the iPad (and I would bet we will see it on more tablets as they come out) along with other mobile devices like the iPhone and Blackberry to enhance their original core business – selling (e)books.  Amazon’s true competition is the Barnes & Nobles Nook (which will also have an iPad app), not the iPad.  Of course, Apple will have their own EBook store, but who do you think of when you want to buy a book?  Amazon.  They have the one up in this area and they are taking advantage of it.

A look at the features of the Kindle for Tablets app:

  • Get the best reading experience available on your tablet computer including the iPad. No Kindle required
  • Tailored to the size, look, and feel of your tablet computer
  • Customize background color and font size to ease eye strain
  • Adjust screen brightness from within the app to make reading easier
  • Page turn animation replicates the look of turning a page in a book. Or choose Basic Reading Mode for a simpler and unadorned reading experience
  • Search and browse more than 450,000 Kindle books, including 101 of 112 New York Times® Best Sellers. If you are a non-U.S. customer, book availability may vary
  • Get free book samples–read the first chapter for free before you decide to buy
  • Books you purchase can also be read on a Kindle and Kindle-compatible devices

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