Amazon is definitely playing it smart in releasing Kindle for the iPhone. From what information I’ve been able to get it seems that the first implementation of the software is still a bit “plain”, but this is a huge step forward.
Lets look at how this is good for readers first. To start out, if you own an iPhone (not sure if the iPod touch will work as well) you’ll be able to read Kindle books without having to buy a Kindle. Considering the price of a Kindle, this is surely the cheapest way to get started with Amazon ebooks. The Kindle for iPhone application is free.
Readers from outside the US might be able to order ebooks from Amazon, while previously they surely couldn’t as the Kindle is only sold in the US. (I would guess that this would be a big plus for Amazon too.) Also, though I’m sure many people take their Kindles on the road, speacilly on long trips, just about everyone carries their phones everywhere. This means that readers will be able to read more, in situations in which it would not have been possible too so before. (Oh, I guess this could be considered a plus for Amazon too. Hummm, there seems to be a pattern emerging here.) Having the Kindle for iPhone sych your reading position with your Kindle is a big one too, as you can more confortably read on the Kindle’s larger (and easier on the eyes) screen when you get home.
Now for Amazon, everything about this is a great move. They get more readers, readers reading more and consequently probably buying more books. At the same time they stake out the ebook reading territorry in the iPhone.
After the casualness with which the iPhone and iPod Touch started to make inroads in the portable game console market, against such stablished players as the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, Amazon must have felt that they better make sure that people reading on the iPhone and iPods were reading books sold by Amazon.
UPDATE: It seems that the iPod Touch can run the Kindle for iPhone application.