Amazon Beefs Up Its Kindle Team to Take on the iPad

Nick Bilton flags a surge of job openings at Amazon, all for the Kindle team. Word is that Amazon's working on a touchscreen color Kindle, and if anything, this hiring spree shows that they're not screwing around: They're gathering software engineers, new QA staff and apparently talking to game publishers about games for the platform. This wouldn't be a Kindle 3, it'd be a Kindle tablet.

An interesting omission from the listings is hardware engineers, which, along with the nature of the software hires (lots of testing staff) faintly suggests that the project might be further along than most people had thought. In other words, the first direct challenge to the iPad might not come from Microsoft or Google, but Amazon. (Note to Amazon: You're wading in over your head.) [NYT]

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DISCUSSION

I'm no MBA, but this seems like loosing strategy.

For better or for worse, Apple is the premiere US gadget company, and has a lot of experience in this market.

What is Amazon trying to accomplish?

Ultimately they want to sell books right? Does it matter which reader is used? The kindle app for the iphone is actually pretty good (I still prefer my kindle in most situations), and I bet the ipad app is pretty swell as well.

Amazon needs to get more people using kindle books, and worry less about competing with Apple.