This could get very interesting, especially in light of the new alliance between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft. The Verge reports today — citing an unnamed source and an internal Target memo — that the giant retailer will stop selling the Kindle due to “conflict of interest.”
There certainly seems to be some legs to this report, since we could not find any Kindles for sale on Target’s online site today. (They do continue to sell Nooks and Kobos). The Verge notes that some devices are still in stocks at retail stores, but shipments of Kindles will end May 13th.
The timing is certainly intriguing. Apple recently inked a deal with Target to create 25 “mini-stores” inside Target locations, selling Apple products such as the iPad. It also could signal that Target has its own desires to create a new electronic reading device.
The news could have significant implications for Amazon.com, which is being seen more of a threat to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Walmart is currently locked in a battle with the Seattle online retailer, and a number of large and small retailers have attacked Amazon.com over what they see as an unfair tax collection system that benefits the company.
The removal of the Kindle from Target also could cut off a significant retail presence for Amazon at a time when the tablet market is about to get more competitive. As part of the announcement this week, Barnes & Noble said it planned to work with Microsoft on a Windows 8-based applicartion for the Nook.
Nonetheless, Amazon.com continues to attract new Kindle customers, with comScore reporting last month that the Kindle Fire now controls 54 percent of the Android tablet market.
We’ve reached out to Amazon.com for comment, and we’ll update this post if we hear back. Meanwhile, here’s a look at the blank Kindle page on Target.com right now.