announced it will develop a Kindle application specifically for Android and Windows tablet computers, which, like its other mobile apps, will provide access to the Kindle e-bookstore.Do any of the new, non-iPad tablets being introduced at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas have a shot at achieving significant market share? Well, Amazon must think they do. The online retailer has just
Kindle for Tablets
There is nothing remarkable about the newly announced app itself. Like all other Kindle apps, including those already available for desktop computers (Mac, PC), iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Android smartphones, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and Amazon's own Kindle line-up (Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX), Amazon's tablet app will include the company's WhisperSync technology, which syncs your bookmarks, last page read, notes and other such items between devices as well as provide access to its online bookstore.
Analysts Say: Kindles and Tablets to Co-Exist
If the app is nothing you haven't seen before, then why does this ?news matter? Because, according to Amazon's Kindle Director, Dorothy Nicholls, "Many people are buying both a Kindle and an LCD tablet computer."
That notion didn't just get plucked out of thin air, either - it's based on recent analyst research. For example, Forrester's tablet computer report (our coverage) predicts increased sales for both tablets and e-readers alike. In fact, Forrester expects e-reader sales to increase by 50% in 2011 to 15.5 million devices while tablet computer sales jump 130% from 10.3 million in 2010 to 24 million in 2011.
In other words, tablets and Kindles can - and will - live in harmony.
Forrester is not alone in this belief; recent research from J.P. Morgan discovered that 40% of iPad owners also have a Kindle.
iPad to Dominate Market, but Plenty of Room for Others
Although the majority of tablets sold are expected to be iPads, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps noted that other tablets including Android and Windows-based devices will take a backseat to Apple, but that "in a market this big, there's room for more than one player," she said.
So how big is that market? By 2015, 82 million U.S. consumers - one-third of those online, will use a tablet. And, says Epps, "not all of them will be iPads."
Amazon clearly agrees. Even though the retailer may have the development resources to build apps for every platform under the sun, it does not. (See, for example, its lack of a Nokia Symbian app, WebOS app, Linux app, etc.) Instead, it bets on those platforms where there may be enough market share and consumer interest and releases accordingly.
If you want to know what the next big platform in mobile computing is, taking Amazon's pulse by tracking its mobile apps' release schedule is not a bad idea.