Amazon has been a really interesting company to watch. It is a pioneer in the Internet retail industry, but there have been so many ups and downs in Amazon’s history that make Amazon a great company to study for all students of business. I remember when I read Amazon’s case study in business school. It was all about how Amazon was one of the most innovative companies in the world, yet it was struggling to make any real money online. Times have changed since then. Amazon has developed one innovative business solution after the other, and the introduction of Amazon Kindle is only a smart part of Amazon’s overall strategy to move to the next level.
Amazon understands that the next wave of innovation is mobile. The times are changing fast and most folks are going mobile. In fact, research shows that by 2020 most people will be using their mobile phones to communicate with each other and get things done. And what happens when you go mobile? You are going to need content to consume, and you want to do it all in a convenient fashion. The Kindle is a great mobile gadget and certainly has its merits. But it was never really about the hardware. At this point of time, the Kindle enables Amazon to target those mobile consumers. It’s about setting the stage and getting ready for the “mobile shift.” With the Kindle, Amazon is putting itself in the front-line of action.
Amazon has demonstrated its ultimate goal by introducing Kindle for iPhone. A lot of people, including myself, argued that in the short run Amazon is hoping to encourage iPhone owners to buy Kindle 2.0 from Amazon. But Amazon’s strategy for these times revolves around more than just the hardware. Mobile content is the future, and Amazon is in a great position to take advantage. No wonder financial analysts are excited about Amazon. What will happen to the Kindle platform? Now, that’s something to watch.
Your take: is Kindle a short-term strategy for Amazon or will we see Amazon get more involved in the hardware business?