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There are a number of additional features introduced with the Kindle 2.0 that foreshadow a future intent to compete with Apple’s iPod and RIM’s blackberry to be the preferred mobile computing device.  Less advertised, experimental features of the Kindle include:

  • Web Browsing – The device is equipped with a simple web browser that allows end-users to search for movie times on Google or to look up historical references on Wikipedia while reading.  I suspect it won’t be long until Kindle is repurposed for a broader set of browsing activities.
  • B2c E-Commerce – Kindle is preconfigured to allow shopping on for other kindle products such as magazine and newspaper subscriptions; blog feeds and e-book downloads.  I would bet that Kindle 3.0 offers the ability to purchase any product from’s store for free “Prime” delivery to the owner’s address.
  • Wireless E-Mail – End-users can e-mail Microsoft Word documents and Adobe PDF files to the Kindle for easy reading on the go.  There is $0.10 per document charge that is inclusive of the wireless networking fee.  Will Kindle 4.0 offer the ability to check e-mail on Windows Live, G-Mail, Yahoo! or a Microsoft Exchange account?
  • Digital Music – Perhaps, the most controversial feature of the new Kindle is its “Read-to-Me” capability that offers text-to-speech conversion.  Users can also download MP3 files for playback as background reading.  This version of Kindle only offers 1.4GB of storage, but I suspect the next iteration will be equipped 14GB of storage for books and MP3s rivaling the iPhone.  Combine the text-to-speech capabilities with e-mail, e-commerce and web-browsing features and you have a powerful mix of capabilities unlike any on the market.
Steve Keifer

Steve Keifer has led marketing and product management teams at seven different SaaS and cloud providers ranging from venture-backed, early-stage startups to multi-billion, publicly traded companies - including several that experienced hypergrowth, filed IPOs, and reached unicorn status. In Bantrr, Steve shares many of the best practices and lessons learned from building and scaling marketing organizations. Topics include new category creation, brand development, and demand generation.

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