Amazon.com plans to expand its Kindle e-reader franchise onto BlackBerry smartphones, according to a note on the online retail Website. Kindle applications can already be downloaded for the iPhone and Windows PCs. While the e-readers produced by Amazon.com and rival Barnes & Noble are seen as primarily directed at consumers, the business segment, in which BlackBerry mobile devices are popular, is also seen as a potentially huge customer base for e-readers.
BlackBerry users may be irritated by the Dec. 17 e-mail outage
their devices, but there's a bit of good news for the bibliophiles among them:
According to Amazon.com, a Kindle e-reader application is on the way for
As for a release date, "Coming soon" is all that Amazon.com is
revealing on its Kindle page,
BlackBerry icon. Already extant are Kindle applications for Windows PCs and
iPhones, which allow e-books purchased from Amazon.com to be read on those
The porting of Kindle's functionality onto BlackBerry smartphones could be a
nod to the business
community, which is seen as a viable customer segment for e-readers.
companies such as Plastic Logic are developing e-readers specifically targeted
at business travelers, as well as others who want the ability to download and
display PDFs and Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents on a tablet-like
According to a Dec. 1 research note by financial advisory group Collins
could sell as many as 550,000 Kindle devices in 2009.
That note's chief
author, Sandeep Aggarwal, said Kindle faces competition from about 40 other
e-readers, including Barnes & Noble's Nook device.
While Amazon.com has traditionally kept its exact sales numbers for the Kindle
a closely guarded secret, Aggarwal predicted that the retailer will sell around
450,000 Kindle 2 devices and 100,000 Kindle DC devices this year, although it
was not mentioned in the report how those figures were calculated.
"Kindle creates a much bigger mousetrap for Amazon than the traditional
books business," Aggarwal wrote. "Kindle not only removes multiple
costs and inefficiencies from the current value chain for books ... but also
increases propensity to buy books [and other] content and other adjacent
In total, Aggarwal said he expects about $301.4 million in Kindle revenue in
2009, increasing to $671.4 million in 2010, $1.2 billion in 2011 and $1.8
billion in 2012.
Those predictions come despite the fact that Amazon.com has had to radically
lower the price of its Kindle devices in order to compete more forcefully
against the Nook, matching that e-reader's price of $259. The larger-screen
Kindle DC, which faces little direct competition, maintains its original price
point of $489.
Amazon.com has one advantage this holiday season in that Barnes & Noble,
supposedly due to high demand, has delayed shipping Nook units both to
customers who ordered online and to Barnes & Noble stores. Many of the Nooks
that have been ordered will not be in customers' hands until the first week of
January, according to the bookseller.
have early reviews of the Nook been excessively kind.
Both Walt Mossberg of
the Wall Street Journal and David Pogue of the New York Times described the
device as being in desperate need of software tweaks and user interface
adjustments, although they acknowledged that Barnes & Noble could improve
its creation in subsequent versions.