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Emboldened by the success of its Kindle, Amazon.com reportedly is “looking into building other gadgets that it could sell to consumers.”

According to a New York Times story, sources say that “building more hardware products would be a means to an end,” and that “Amazon wants to make more devices for consumers that would enable simple purchasing of Amazon content including its digital books, music and movie rentals and purchases.”

The Times suggests that while there is some internal frustration at Amazon that its hardware plans are not further along - especially as other companies ranging from Apple to Google seem to be introducing new products - it remains entirely possible that Amazon could introduce movie and music players, and even cell phones.
KC's View:
It is all about control. (This is the Apple lesson.) If you offer both the hardware and the software, and they add up to a compelling consumer experience, then you have the chance to lock in user loyalty for an extended period of time.

There is a question that needs to be answered about whether single-use devices are the way of the future. Is the Kindle viable in the long-term when things like the iPad are more versatile?

I honestly don’t know. I love my Kindle. I cannot imagine giving it up, even when I eventually get an iPad. But you never know.