I like the concept of e-books, if not their current state-of-the-art. The Kindle device sounds very impressive, I’ve only played with them a bit, and I know they have a lot of devoted fans.

One thing that gets underplayed is that “Kindle” is not simply a device, it’s Amazon’s e-book platform. So instead of spending $300 on the device, I am using the free Kindle for PC application. (There is also an iPhone version but jeez, that’s pushing it in terms of readability.)

Amazon has decided it’s not going to restrict its e-book effort to a particular piece of hardware — instead, it’s a “Kindle everywhere” strategy. I wonder — will Apple do the same?

In other words, when (if) Apple introduces their publishing-oriented tablet, will they simultaneously announce that you can get the e-reader software on your PC? There is a precedent — it’s called iTunes.

I suspect that this publication platform will use iTunes as its hub, and treat publications just like the media it already handles — books and magazines alongside songs, movies and podcasts. You can play those media on your PC just as easily as you can on the iPod. (And if they put it in the cloud, all the better.)

If this comes to pass, you’ll be able to take advantage of the tablet’s e-reader functionality, without buying an expensive, first-generation device. Win.