Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Verizon: Bring on the Kindle Clones

The Kindle may or may not be a hit–Amazon (AMZN) hasn’t released any kinds of sales numbers about its e-book reader, and everyone else’s guesses are… just guesses. But that won’t stop people from coming out with their own Kindle-killers or Kindle clones. And Verizon Wireless would love to help them. Reuters:

Verizon Wireless is poised to have rivals of Amazon’s popular electronic Kindle reader use its network to download material such as books and newspapers wirelessly, according to an executive for the wireless service provider.

Tony Lewis, who runs a program that helps third-party vendors certify their products to work on Verizon’s network, said in an interview ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show that he does not see the U.S. recession and concerns about weak consumer spending stalling manufacturers’ plans to bring out even nonessential products such as e-readers.

‘Competitors to the Kindle are out there and ready,’ said Lewis, who declined to name the company’s e-reader partners. ‘In 2009 I’d expect them to come to the market.'”

Amazon’s e-book uses Sprint’s (S) wireless network to let you beam books, blogs and other stuff directly to the device, so it makes sense that Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon (VZ) and Vodafone, would want to get in on the action.

Looking for more details? No dice–I have a feeling that Lewis was in a wide-ranging talk about Verizon’s plans, and e-books came up glancingly. And indeed, Verizon could add a whole range of interesting products this year, a result of its “Open Development” program, which is supposed to crack open its airwaves to a slew of electronic devices, prompted by nagging from Google (GOOG).

[Image Credit: Kindle Cake via geeksugar]

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