Can You Read a Book on Your BlackBerry? Time to Find Out, Via Amazon’s Kindle.

Published on February 18, 2010
by Peter Kafka

Amazon’s Kindle strategy has two prongs: Tether its e-book store closely to its own devices and simultaneously, make sure buyers can also read their purchases on other platforms, if they really want to.

This will be important when Apple’s iPad launches, since Amazon (AMZN) will have an app that works on that device. It’s already relevant for those who use Apple (AAPL) iPhones/iPods and PCs that run Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows. And as of this morning, for some BlackBerry users.

You can download Amazon’s free BlackBerry app, which runs on seven newish models from Research in Motion (RIMM), here or by entering “” into your BlackBerry browser.

I’ve given the app a cursory run-through, and it did indeed give me access to books I’d previously purchased via Amazon. Just like other Kindle apps, it remembered that I’d only gotten through the first six chapters of Elmore Leonard’s “Road Dogs.”

And unlike the first version of the Kindle App for iPhone/iPod (which came out nearly a year ago), you don’t need to use the device’s native browser to shop at Amazon’s store. There’s an in-app version of the store that allowed me to quickly download a sample of Ozzy Osbourne’s “I Am Ozzy.” (Sort of interesting, though suspiciously cogent.)

I’ve been a big proponent of the notion that single-use devices like the Kindle will end up losing out to all-in gadgets like the iPhone and iPod because convenience trumps everything else. But Kindle on the BlackBerry, a device that really isn’t optimized for reading more than a few words at a time, will be an interesting test of that thesis.

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