Amazon's Kindle Offerings Now Include 'Gift' Ebooks
Amazon is offering its customers the ability to "gift" Kindle ebooks, in another feature build-out to better compete with Barnes & Noble's Nook and the Apple iPad.Amazon.com is offering its customers the ability to "gift" Kindle ebooks, yet another escalation in the online retailer's efforts to stay atop the e-reader market. Despite its sales position, Kindle faces increased competition from not only Barnes & Nobles' new Nook Color, but also the Apple iPad and other tablet PCs with e-reader applications. "We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift," Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Amazon Kindle, wrote in a Nov. 19 statement. Users can now select a book from the Kindle store and click "Give as a Gift," sending the ebook to a selected e-mail address.
Amazon managed to capture an early lead in the then-nascent e-reader market with the Kindle. With high-profile launches attended by literary celebrities such as Stephen King, the retailer managed to capture much of the public mind share. By the end of 2009, however, the market had evolved from niche to mainstream; not only had Barnes & Noble launched the competing Nook, but a host of smaller manufacturers decided to carve off a share of the market with their own devices.