Amazon’s Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch a Kindle device complement or cannibal?

“A new tool that lets consumers download digital books onto Apple devices could spur demand for some of the 240,000 digital titles sold through Amazon’s online bookstore. But by giving people the option to read digital books on devices they already own, Amazon may also limit the appeal of its own line of e-book readers, some analysts fret,” Douglas MacMillan reports for BusinessWeek.

“On Mar. 3, Amazon released an application that lets owners of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch devices download any book from its online store of more than 240,000 digital titles straight to their handheld. The app puts Amazon’s e-books in front of customers who don’t want to pay US$359 or more for the Kindle 2, or who simply don’t want to bother with an additional device,” MacMillan reports.

“Amazon stressed that its main goal was to make reading more convenient for owners of Kindle readers. The company’s Whispersync technology now lets customers set down their Kindle at home and pick up reading where they left off on their iPhone—say, while on the bus or waiting in line at the checkout counter. ‘We view Kindle for iPhone as a complement’ to the full e-book reader, says Amazon spokeswoman Cinthia Portugal,” MacMillan reports. “Ultimately, the apps may give consumers less incentive to buy a Kindle from the start. ‘In an economy like we have today, I don’t see people shelling out hundreds of dollars for a device which replicates something they already have,’ says Bill Mirabito, head of e-commerce researcher B2C Partners.”

“According to O’Reilly research, books were the fastest-growing category of applications in Apple’s App Store in the 12 weeks ending on Mar. 1. The App Store also has selling power: In the same period, the number of books selling for $10 or more has grown from 1 out of every 50 to 1 in 10,” MacMillan reports. “The current leader of App Store books is Stanza, an application that’s seen about 7 million e-book downloads since launching in mid-2008.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The answer to our headline’s question is obvious: cannibal. Anyone who says differently are either not thinking or are lying to themselves and/or others.

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