At one point in Jeff Bezos’ presentation he mentioned WhisperSync, a system for syncing all of your Kindles. This means if you’re reading a book on one of your Kindles and pick up another Kindle registered to your same account, it lets you start reading where you left off on the first Kindle. It’s kind of a smart bookmark so you never have to lose your place if, like many folks who are interested in this thing at all, you own a K1 and K2. But Jeff said something very special. He said this works with other Kindle devices or other “mobile devices.”
One of the biggest complaints is that you have to own a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks. But what are these “mobile devices” of which he speaks? Laptops, with desktop reading software? iPhones? WinMo devices? Zunes? The mind boggles. UPDATE – We have confirmation it’s coming to “cellphones” but not which ones.
In a way, this is the next logical move. You grab the early adopters with sexy hardware and then grab the rest of the world with software solutions. It mimics, in a way, the growth of MP3 sales – iTunes and iPod made it sexy to own music again while Amazon’s un-DRMed MP3 store – and others, obviously – stripped away the barriers to entry for millions of others.
This also opens the Kindle store to folks outside of the country. After all, Bezos said “Our vision is every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.” Sure sounds like a business plan to me and why do you need every language if you’re not expanding your reach?
I have a line in on this so we’ll see what Amazon has to say.