Amazon hedges bets with Kindle for Android

Amazon, facing pressure on profitability due to rising competition in the eReader market, has hedged its bets with the launch of Kindle for Android.

The Android app is available for free and offers users access to 620,000 book titles, newspaper content, and the ability to read content already bought on the main Kindle e-reader on a mobile phone.
 
Amazon now offers e-reader apps on BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch as well as Macs and PCs.
 
However, the wide availability of apps has left some analysts worried about sales of the Kindle device.
 
Financial analyst Marianne Wolk yesterday cut her rating on Amazon from Positive to Neutral, due to concerns over the viability of the e-reader, Barrons said.
 
Wolk is concerned about the Kindle’s market share and profitability – particularly since Amazon cut the retail price of the device in a bid to compete with the iPad.
 
She notes that Amazon’s mobile apps strategy could also harm sales of the e-reader device, by allowing users to access content without buying the Kindle itself.
 
The apps are likely to be more popular, with most offering content in full color rather than the grayscale offered by the e-reader, Wolk warned.
 
Amazon this week updated the functionality of its iPhone and iPad apps, offering Apple users access to embedded audio and video clips.

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