Amazon enters unified communications race with app for Kindle eReader


On the heels of its much publicized launch of App Store (for Android), Cloud Drive, and Cloud Player (for Web and Android), Amazon now boldly enters the heated unified communications market with its Cloud Talk app for the Kindle eReader.

The Kindle eReader was Amazon’s foray into offering a hardware product, and instantly became a success to dominate the eReader market. It is now the best selling product from the company and helped ushered in the era of digital publishing as ebooks now outsell printed ones.

One could argue that it’s one of the first tablet devices, albeit with limited features. However, the latest models have impressive technical specs: 6″ display, 8.5 oz., 30-day battery life, WiFi, PDF reader, and WebKit-based browser. There’s also a 3G model where owners can download ebooks from anywhere with a cellular signal. The E Ink display offers a crisp and highly contrasted reading experience even in sunlight, something that many existing tablets have trouble with due to glare from LCD screens.

Essentially, the Kindle has nearly all the bells and whistles to become a full-fledge consumer tablet. Yes, it can easily run apps too. With Cloud Talk for Kindle, the user can enjoy instant messaging, VOIP (free between Kindle users, or cheap rates otherwise), or video conferencing — reliability guaranteed by Amazon’s cloud. (VOIP and video features require additional adapter.)

Can it be a successful communications device?

Let’s see… Swarms of loyal fans love their Kindles as much as anything. Now with Cloud Talk for Kindle, back by Amazon’s truly world-class cloud infrastructure, this sneak attack by Amazon could spell trouble for not only existing tablet makers, but also enterprise UC vendors. Imagine the ability to instantly share via IM your favorite passages, or via VOIP/video to interrupt your Kindle friend’s reading. Granted, the video may be in E Ink black and white, but that could mean more people are comfortable using it because they won’t be as self-conscious of their appearances.

Watch out, Apple/Google/Avaya/Cisco/Microsoft/Polycom/etc.!

Press release:

SEATTLE, April 1, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) —

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the launch of Amazon Cloud Talk for Kindle. The Kindle is the most popular eReader and Amazon is proud to extend its features with a great application on top of this best-selling product.

“We’re excited to take this leap forward in the personal digital experience,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Director, Amazon Kindle. “With the App Store and our world-class cloud services, Kindle users now get to enjoy a full tablet experience with the new Cloud Talk app.”

“Our customers have told us they want to do more than reading on the Kindle,” Nicholls said. “Now, whether at work, home, or on the go, customers can not only buy books, but also stay connected to their friends and family.”

The Cloud Talk app for Kindle:

  • Free from the Amazon App Store for Android
  • Common communications features: presence, instant messaging, voice-over-IP (VOIP), and video conferencing (requires additional camera/mic adapter)
  • Instantly share your favorite passages using IM, or audio/video
  • Compatible with all Kindle models

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle, Kindle 3G and Kindle DX are the revolutionary portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper. Kindle 3G and Kindle DX utilize the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so users never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Kindle is the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.comwww.amazon.co.ukwww.amazon.de,www.amazon.co.jpwww.amazon.frwww.amazon.cawww.amazon.cn, and www.amazon.it. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com‘s financial results is included in Amazon.com‘s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

SOURCE: Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon.com, Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180

 

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