Amazon releasing a Kindle application for the iPhone was a very smart move. Like a lot of the news I’m reading today, I’m happy to see Amazon make this move and not try to wall off other devices. While it’s not going to replace the Kindle 1.0 my wife bought me for Christmas, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to read e-books I bought from Amazon on my iPhone.
Now some of you are thinking right now, ‘But Mike – you don’t seem to have any problem with your beloved Apple and their gated community of iPhone applications? Why aren’t you demanding the same openness Amazon is showing with its Kindle app from Apple and its iPhone?”. Ah – but I’m a proponent of the content being open, not the platform. Amazon is selling media files for the Kindle (books, magazines), the same way Apple is selling media files in iTunes (music), and if you remember, Apple didn’t want DRM on their music, the record executives insisted on it because we’re all nasty little thieves. Google made the same move with Google Docs publishing out to standard (albeit Microsoft proprietary) formats like .doc and .ppt instead of inventing its own.
With each succeeding year, it becomes more and more clear why Amazon isn’t just a website that sells stuff, they’re clearly a company focused on innovation.