How the Amazon Kindle Will Change Music

AmazonKindle-SizeWithBook So the word if officially out that Amazon will start shipping, on November 29th 2007, their new eBook reader called "Amazon Kindle".  The device is very compelling if you are looking for an eBook reader, here is are just some of the vital statistics:

  • White background, black text "ePaper" screen
  • 10.3 ounces in weight
  • Runs 2 days with Wireless turned on, a week with it off.
  • Recharges complete in 2 hours
  • Blog reader (or at least some blog feeds available)
  • Full Wikipedia access
  • Read Microsoft Word documents and images (JPG, PNG, BMP and GIF)
  • 88,000 books available now, 100 of the 112 New York Times Bestsellers
  • Wireless access to data without the need for WiFi

*blink Hold on there, run that last point again for me... Yes, you read correctly you get access to the Amazon data services directly from the device using Sprint's wireless broadband network and without a monthly charge.  How?  Amazon is absorbing the charges, the control the platform, you go to them for data, and simply do it over the Sprint network.  That is absolutely incredible and the single most ground breaking concept within this device.  With a $399 price tag, is definitely a niche market right now, but if you consume 20ish books a year, then you'll make back the money within a year on the savings over "dead tree" versions.

AmazonKindle-WhisperNet But my question to you, dear readers, is that if there was a cell phone company willing to let a company "Pay Per Download" on devices in the field, how is it that Jeff Bezos found them, and not Steve Jobs!  Just imagine if you will an iPod, not an iPhone, with the ability to download new songs literally anywhere, anytime, at a small 25 cent upcharge on the cost of the song for the download.  This could be huge, and I'll bet you money that someone from Apple is already talking with Sprint about this concept right now.

The good news for everyone else in the portable music industry is that this is a chink in the armor of Apple.  If someone can jump on this bandwagon fast, and cut a deal for the same services for music, they could vault themselves over the iPod in popularity because it would still be tethered to WiFi spots.  Now, it can't be the " Music Player", it would have to be someone with a name in hardware already, and someone with enough money to make the deal happen fast, and who has a vested financial interest in seeing the iPod tumble.  Is there such a person?  I think so...