Yesterday, Amazon made two announcements with regards to the Kindle.
First, they are going to open up the Kindle to 3rd party developers and a SDK is now available. It will be interesting to what apps come from this effort. My guess is that it wont be a meaningful number but it will make the Kindle a two way device at least.
The second thing is a new revenue share with authors. I like Albert’s post about the lack of creativity when it comes to their pricing model for books & content.
On the other hand, Amazon was incredibly innovative with the pricing of cellular bandwidth to the Kindle. Every device I own that has a 3g network attached (blackberry, iphone, MiFi) comes along with a unique monthly subscription service & contract. So for these three devices, I pay >$100/month just for data. That doesn’t scale because i want dozens of my devices to have a connection to the 3g network.
The Kindle on the other hand doesn’t have a monthly bandwidth service fee or contract. In fact, the user don’t even think about how content shows up on the device. It just works.
It’s pretty clear that Amazon was able to get this type of arrangement from Sprint & ATT because they are wholesaling data minutes and making some minimum guarantees themsleves to the carriers. And I bet that deal didn’t happen overnight. But they made it happen and I’d like to see that model work at scale vs just a one-off.
It should work for the smallest startups to the largest of companies.