by Mike Masnick
Thu, Aug 11th 2011 10:06pm
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jan 21st 2010 7:20am
from the it-ain't-the-web dept
It does make me wonder, though, if people are betting too strongly on app stores, and not recognizing why it works so well in some areas. I also wonder if focusing on apps and app stores is going to make people miss out on the fact that web-based apps (that don't need to go through any app store) may overtake client-side apps. We've already gone through this on the desktop, and one by one, web-based apps have come along that match (or sometimes exceed) the functionality of client-side apps, leading many to turn away from client apps altogether.
Separately, adding another app store to another device may only serve to confuse (or annoy) some users. If you have an iPhone and a Kindle, and there are the same apps on both, which are you going to use? It may depend on the app, but my guess is that in most cases the phone is going to win out over an ebook reader.
by Timothy Lee
Tue, Sep 2nd 2008 3:24pm
from the wireless-worries dept
Mike Arrington offers some unsolicited advice to Amazon about how to expand the market for the Kindle. In a nutshell, he thinks Amazon should aggressively license the Kindle hardware specs to third parties, and allow authorized vendors to use the Kindle brand. Amazon would require licensees to use the Kindle store, and would share the associated revenues. There's a lot to be said for a plan like this. The key to long-run dominance of many high-tech industries is to be the platform around which other firms build their products. Amazon's got a solid product with a fair amount of buzz at the moment, but that could easily evaporate if another company comes along with a more compelling product. Getting a lot of third-party vendors to build products around the Kindle ecosystem could help establish it as the standard e-book platform.
The difficulty with opening up the platform is that the Kindle business model—particularly the wireless aspect—depends on limiting the Kindle's functionality. Amazon is able to offer free cellular access for the life of the product in part because it controls the applications that will run on it, and can therefore guarantee to cell carriers that users won't start running bandwidth-hogging applications on it. And Amazon is willing to pick up customers' bandwidth bills in part because it charges premium prices for content, some of which is available for free off the open Internet. So if Amazon licensed the Kindle name to third parties, it would have two choices. It could tell the vendors they're on their own in terms of negotiating their own wireless plans, which would be a headache for the vendors. Or, if Amazon wants to bring third parties in under its own wireless umbrella, it will presumably need to impose some draconian restrictions on the functionality of the Kindle clones. And how many vendors are going to want to sell Kindle clones that have all the same limitations as the original?
by Derek Kerton
Wed, Nov 21st 2007 11:11am
from the there's-always-something dept
This portends a future (that Sprint has been talking up a lot lately with WiMAX) where myriad consumer electronics devices like cameras, GPS devices, sensors, signs, etc. all connect to the "cloud" and have service either bundled in retail prices, or into some other service fee like Amazon is charging for content. This kind of device is a break from the normally carrier-controlled handsets we usually see, and is interesting for that reason alone. It's also a break from the $80 rule, where non-phones can only connect to cellular data for $80/mo. Since the Kindle device has limited Internet functionality, Amazon can predict average monthly EV-DO throughput per device, and negotiate a much better wholesale data rate from Sprint than $80, and can then afford to bundle that into content pricing. Don't get me wrong -- I don't agree with the content pricing on the Kindle. But the launch of an "Open Access" consumer electronics device with wide area network access bundled in has got me excited. Imagine now a GPS device from Garmin or TomTom that comes with a cellular radio for traffic updates, local fuel prices, etc, and the data plan is bundled into the retail price. Wow! Consumer electronics devices that could work right out of the box with full mobile connectivity, and a carrier that is willing to wholesale reasonably for that network connection! The times are finally changing.
by Timothy Lee
Mon, Nov 19th 2007 10:51am
from the hello-walled-gardens dept
The one undeniably innovative thing about the Kindle is the free wireless EVDO access. The limits on access to Internet content may be an attempt to keep the bandwidth consumption down. But in a world where you can get an unlimited data plan for your iPhone for $20 per month, they should at least have an option for a flat rate "all you can eat" data plan, which would allow you to access Internet content and subscribe to an unlimited number of blogs, newspapers, and public domain books. Bezos obviously wants this to be the iPod of the printed word. But one of the crucial factors behind the iPod's success is that it gives you free access to content in open formats. You can rip your CDs and listen to them on an iPod. You can subscribe to an unlimited number of podcasts. With the Kindle, in contrast, Amazon apparently expects customers to buy an unfamiliar proprietary device, and then pay a premium to read content like blogs and public domain books that's available for free on the Internet. Somehow I don't think that very many people are going to go for that.