Both Apple and Kindle are fierce competitors with almost every other player in the space, both on the hardware, software and content side. A deal like this would make perfect sense.
Amazon has the best purchasing experience and the largest title library (Not counting Google’s free archive of classics most people would not want to purchase anyway). Amazon is also not able to manufacture a good quality hardware device over the long term. Their second Kindle (which I own), took everything they had to pull off. The screen is great, but the rest of it is a cheap, non-touch, plastic experience. Amazon knows it needs to stick to what it does best.
Apple designs and delivers killer hardware and software combos. See my blog post on how Apple will be able to deliver the combo of both full-color backlit LCD and digital ink in one device.
I would not be surprised to see the Apple Tablet with it’s e-reading experience powered by Amazon.
Amazon may still choose to manufacture a pure reading ‘Kindle’ device, as the Apple Tablet will obviously offer a lot more and reading will only be a small part of what the product delivers.
But if the two were to do a deal, I would not be surprised if Apple helped Amazon out with design and the best manufacturing supply chain in computing. It may even be a Kindle device powered by Apple for under $100. Apple-Kindle device anyone?
Both Apple and Amazon believe in a more closely guarded environment. This deal would make cultural sense for both companies and catapult them far ahead of everyone else. A killer combination in a quickly evolving competitive marketplace.
I can see Sony prepping for Seppuku (Harakiri) already…