Today’s announcements by Amazon strongly reaffirmed a powerful strategic path that the Kindle’s been blazing for a while: the tight integration of device, content and connectivity. We strongly echo how Jeff Bezos summarized the strategy: “We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service.”
Consider Silk, the proprietary, cloud-powered browser on Kindle Fire. Silk’s ‘split-processing’ architecture pushes the browser’s heaving-lifting to the cloud, thereby enhancing the user experience while reducing the cost of the device and network bandwidth. This is Amazon looking holistically at the Kindle—not just as a device, but as a content delivery platform that delivers profitable services throughout its lifetime.
Likewise, the new Kindle Touch 3G continues to treat connectivity as it should be treated: not as an aftermarket option, but as an integral component of the device and user experience. Priced aggressively at $149 with Special Offers, the Kindle 3G Touch may not generate high point-of-sale margins, and 3G bandwidth isn’t free, but clearly Amazon’s existing Kindle Keypad 3G strategy—increase content sales through extended network reach—is working.
To me, the chart pictured in Gizmodo’s coverage (right) says it all: connected devices can and should be considered to be new, profitable distribution channels for cloud content, apps and services—resulting in a huge flow of profitable revenues for devices makers with the vision and courage to pursue this path.