released an iPhone-specific version of its Kindle eBook store, which makes it a lot easier to browse and buy books while on the go. Sadly, though, Amazon did not release a new version of the Kindle app with a built-in browser (yet). So users are still being kicked out of the iPhone app and taken to Safari in order to browse the store and complete transactions. A button that takes users back to the Kindle app only appears after a purchase in Safari has been completed.Today, Amazon finally
The iPhone-optimized site is basically just an eBook-specific version of Amazon's regular mobile site. Except for the ability to send eBook purchases to your mobile devices - the Kindle and the iPhone - nothing really sets the iPhone Kindle store apart from the rest of Amazon's mobile site. The mobile site itself is quite well done and makes it easy to browse and buy books (or anything else that Amazon sells for that matter).
Conflict with Apple?
A lot of the discussion around the new iPhone optimized Kindle store currently focuses on the fact that Apple, with the upcoming iPhone 3.0 OS update, will make it easy for developers to charge for transactions from within a specific app. Obviously, eBooks would be one of the many areas where developers could not only make good use of this capability, but where Apple could also get a nice 30% cut from every transaction. By going through the web, Amazon can bypass Apple completely.
What About Stanza?
What will be more interesting to see, though, is if Amazon will also start to integrate some of the technology it acquired when it bought Stanza last month. Stanza already featured the ability to browse books without ever having to leave the app, though the final transactions were also handled on the sellers' websites. Before the acquisition, Stanza had also been working with Adobe to create a standard for online book catalogs, based on Stanza's own specifications, and we hope that the Stanza team will continue this work under Amazon and maybe the next version of the Kindle app will integrate some of this work.