There’s buzz going around Twitter this morning about a recent WSJ article (the top link). The article covers the various ways that Amazon and Apple are going head to head, including tablets, smartphones, app stores. and app development.
It’s a nice summary article, and aside from mistaking Amazon’s budget Android smartphone for a direct iPhone competitor (and getting the sizes of the app stores wrong), the article does show how the 2 companies are competing for your pocketbook. But I’m only interested in one little bit towards the end.
There was a footnote near the end of the article about a new app Amazon might be testing. No name was given, but reportedly this is a competitor to iBooks Author:
At the same time, Apple is trying to chip away at Amazon’s e-book business with new technology to build interactive e-books, called iBooks Author. Amazon has tested its own similar technology with publishers in response, said another person briefed on the project.
While I have no evidence to prove it exists, I’m betting that it does exist and that the new app is called the Kindle Scribe (or at least it was at one point).
Do I have any inside info? Not currently, no. Did I find a trademark? No, but then again Amazon does tend to file trademarks after they announce the product so that’s no big deal.
You might recall the name from the buzz around that time; many blogs were erroneously calling it Amazon’s next ereader or tablet. I didn’t. While many bloggers didn’t look beyond the obvious, I declined to speculate on how Amazon might use the site. Once again I am amazed at my foresight.
Even though I have no real evidence, you’ll have to agree that the name alone is compelling. The name Kindle Scribe is a good choice for an app to make Kindle ebooks, isn’t it? What’s more, Amazon already has ebook creation software to build on. Mobipocket had already developed MobiCreator by the time Amazon bought them, and while development dies out in 2009 Amazon still has the source code to build off of in much the same way that the Kindle iPhone app used parts of Mobipocket’s never released iPhone app or the way that the original Kindle shared code with Mobipocket’s Java based reading app.
To be honest, I’m not sure we’ll ever see the Kindle Scribe app, but I do think Amazon registered the website address just in case they ever needed it. And I do think that the app exists.
P.S. If anyone at Amazon wants to leak details or a copy of the app, you know where to find me.