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Amazon expands reach with new Kindle BlackBerry app

Consumers can enjoy more than 420,000 books on their BlackBerry phones using Amazon’s Whispersync technology. This is the second Kindle mobile application that Amazon has launched.

“This app enables Kindle owners to access their Kindle books even when they don’t happen to have their Kindles with them,” said Kinley Campbell, spokeswoman at Amazon.com, Seattle.  “It also provides BlackBerry users who don’t have Kindle the ability to purchase and read Kindle books on their BlackBerry.

“We view Kindle for BlackBerry as a complement, allowing both Kindle users and non-Kindle users the opportunity to catch up on bits of reading when the time permits and they only have their BlackBerry with them,” she said.

Amazon’s Kindle is a portable reading device where consumers can wirelessly download books, blogs, magazines and newspapers. They can read their favorite books through the electronic-paper display.

Amazon already features an application for the iPhone and iPod touch where customers get the same experience (see story).

The Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch application was the first mobile application that Amazon launched.

Kindle skeptics have claimed that the mobile device undermines the open nature of the Internet because it requires specialized content for proprietary digital platforms.

A case can be made, especially as Apple and Amazon try to steer traffic away from the open Web.

At issue are these proprietary mobile devices which require content to be tailored to meet their standards. Also at issue is the veto power these devices’ manufacturers and retailers have over content or commerce through their channels (see story).

Right where you left off
With Amazon’s Whispersync technology, consumers can automatically synchronize the last page read between their Kindle-compatible devices.

Consumers are able to read a chapter on their BlackBerry and then continue reading the next chapter from their PC, Mac, Kindle, Kindle DX and iPad.

“Our goal is to allow Kindle customers to read their books on a wide range of complementary devices,” Ms. Campbell said. “We think BlackBerry is a great addition to the family of Kindle-compatible devices.”

Easy Read
BlackBerry users can download the Kindle application and browse and download samples before buying a book.

Consumers can also read books in full color, including children’s books, cookbooks, travel books, textbooks and graphic novels.

The Kindle application also allows readers to adjust the text size of their book.

“Kindle for BlackBerry is a great way for customers to continue reading their current book wherever they are – in between meetings, at the grocery store or waiting in the doctor’s office,” Ms. Campbell said. “We think customers are going to love how easy and fun it is to read their Kindle books on their BlackBerry.”