Last week, Tim O'Reilly called for Amazon.com to open up its Kindle e-reader, or "Amazon will wind up another online pioneer who ends up a belated guest at the party it planned to host."
On Wednesday, Amazon demonstrated that it understands the value of openness, even if it's not yet prepared to embrace open standards for the Kindle, by providing an iPhone application that enables users to read their Kindle content on Apple's iPhone, as CNET reports.
This is a shrewd move. It's unlikely that many will want to trade the Kindle reading experience for the iPhone's, but it should prove a useful complement that drives more Amazon revenue.
As Mozilla's John Lilly opines, the iPhone Kindle application is "useful, if I'm somewhere and forgot my Kindle...and I'm sure that I'll buy books with it to read a snippet, then really read on my Kindle."
In sum, by providing a Kindle for iPhone application, Amazon has opened up a compelling complement to its Kindle device, one that will likely feed more revenue to Amazon while simultaneously crippling rivals' efforts to build a critical mass of iPhone e-book readers.