A Material Portal

Over at The Verge, Tim Carmody reacts to The Kindle Fire:

“The Kindle Fire,” he added, “is a service. It offers 22 million items. It calls you by name. It makes recommendations for you.” Bezos was talking about the Kindle Fire as if it were Amazon itself: the entire retail and technological experience made manifest in a single device. The future of Amazon, he seemed to be saying, isn’t the website; it’s this material portal, and others like it.

Echoes my reaction from a few days ago. The Kindle Fire is Amazon incarnate—a vessel for buying more stuff. The same as the iPad is Apple incarnate—a best-of-breed, general purpose tablet computer, designed for everything from productivity tasks to watching movies to listening to music.
There’s a good deal of overlap in what you can do on both devices, but the focus is different. To the average person, this difference in focus might seem very subtle, but to me it’s extremely important.
It reminds me of the phrase (which I believe Steve Jobs said, but I can’t find a source): “We don’t design products to make money, we make money so we can design products.”