BusinessWeek recently published an insightful article called Move Over Kindle; eBooks Hit Cell Phones. After reading it I feel I need to make a confession: My enthusiasm for the Kindle has dramatically shifted to the iPhone. There. I said it. It feels good to come clean.
Don't forget that I'm the guy who was so bullish on the Kindle that I started a separate blog dedicated to it. I'm not suggesting Kindleville is going away, but I do wish I would have jumped on the Apple bandwagon earlier and created iPhoneville instead!
Think about it. Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla but their numerous missteps (e.g., proprietary model, poor inventory management, no brick-and-mortar presence, high price, lack of an innovative pricing model, etc.) have prevented them from shutting the door on Sony. Sony, for cryin' out loud...the company that completely dropped the ball in the consumer electronics world!
So now while Sony is still hanging in there just fine, thank you very much, quite a few prospective customers are starting to realize the smartphone they already own is a better alternative to a $300+ dedicated e-reader. I was a skeptic till I got an iPhone a couple of months ago. Even though the book selection is very limited in the AppStore, I'd be hard-pressed to buy a Kindle now that I have an iPhone. In fact, I had been planning to buy the next generation Kindle that's rumored to appear next year but I doubt I will now. Again, this is coming from one of the Kindle's biggest advocates!
I still don't agree with Steve Jobs and his comment that "people don't read anymore." But wouldn't it be ironic if his platform turned out to be the winner in the e-content battle? After all, he's the guy who's shown the least interest in this sector and yet he now seems to have all the momentum.
Why do I get the feeling Amazon has implemented the equivalent of a "prevent defense", playing "not to lose"? Both those approaches often lead to upsets and that's exactly what it will be if the Kindle fails at the expense of the iPhone.