Amid all of the hullaballoo about Amazon's Kindle 2--the cheesy Stephen King novella, a thinner design and software improvements--the most important feature was reduced to 51 words in a press release. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos glossed over this feature in probably fewer words.
That feature is called "Whispersync" and it syncs the Kindle 2 with the first version of the device and "a range of mobile devices."
The idea here is that you can read something on your Kindle, pick it up on your iPhone or BlackBerry and then hop back to the Kindle and keep your place.
Automatically Syncs With Original Kindle, Kindle 2, and future devices
Amazon’s new “Whispersync” technology automatically syncs Kindle 2 and the original Kindle, which makes transitioning to the new Kindle 2 or using both devices easy for customers. Kindle 2 will also sync with a range of mobile devices in the future.
It would have been nice to hear about a few of those devices.
So why the terse mention? Amazon obviously wasn't ready for its iPhone app announcement yet. Clearly, the iPhone, which was referred to briefly but not mentioned by name, is an open question for Amazon.
And besides, if Amazon would have mentioned Whispersync and iPhone in the same sentence perhaps the attention would have gone to Apple.
In either case, Amazon's omission is telling. Amazon may be:
- Worried that it would cannibalize the Kindle with an iPhone app.
- Is trying to keep control of its book buying platform.
The most likely scenario is that Amazon didn't want to talk about its Kindle-iPhone connection, which may have people wondering why they need a Kindle in the first place. However, whispersync lays the groundwork for a few interesting possibilities.
- Amazon's Kindle 2: 5 burning questions
- Jason Perlow: Kindle Economics 2: Why Amazon should not be Apple, and Jeff Bezos is not Steve Jobs
- Amazon Kindle 2 Up Close and Personal
- Jason O'Grady: Kindle 3 should be an iPhone app
- Matthew Miller: Existing Kindle owners to the front of the line please
- M-Edge announces Kindle 2.0 cases and booklight
- Live from New York: Amazon's Kindle 2.0
- Dana Blankenhorn: Time for Kindle to go open source
- Gallery: Amazon releases Kindle 2.0