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Chicago (IL) – Amazon.com announced today a new software program which allows iPhone users to read their electronics books on the iPhone. The move will significantly increase their eBook audience far beyond mere Kindle users, though not all features of Kindle will be found on the iPhone version. In addition, Amazon warns that iPhone battery life and eye strain may be issues for eBook readers. As a result, Kindle 2 should not be affected as die-hard eBook readers will still turn to the device.
The Amazon eBook application is available for download free of charge to iPhone and iPod touch users through iTunes. Once downloaded, users will be able to purchase books for use on either their Kindle or iPhone for the same price, typically about $9.99 for books.
While Kindle costs $359 to buy and presents content using its paper-white LCD display, iPhone users will have already purchased their device for other uses, meaning Amazon’s eBook service will come for only the cost of content. Amazon will use their WhisperSync technology to keep the same content and bookmarks across all supported devices, including Kindle, Kindle 2, iPhone, and iPod touch.
iPhone’s smaller screen may cause some reader frustration as they must scroll to read an entire line in portrait mode, or use the device in landscape mode. This problem has been observed by Ian Freed, an Amazon vice president, who expects iPhone users to read eBooks for only 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Beyond this, he notes, it may cause eye strain and battery life may become a problem.
Mr. Freed is not concerned that sales of eBooks to iPhone users will result in decreased Kindle 2 sales, as the Kindle 2 is designed explicitly for the long-term display of book pages without running down the batteries. The Kindle 2 also has built-in voices which can read the text to the reader, provided the content copyright holder will allow Kindle 2 to do so.
See Yahoo News.