Kindle best-seller list, you'll see a host of products that mainly appeal to women, and only a few aimed at men. Priced at $119 ($89 if you accept Amazon ads on it) the PaperWhite is bright enough to read with the lights out, and will run for eight weeks between charges with that light turned on. (This last drew gasps from the live audience.) Bezos then showed a chart, without numbers, indicating sales of Kindle books are now double those of physical books. He also spent considerable time on the company's self-publishing services. Bezos aims to own both reading and publishing -- he wants the next "50 Shades of Gray" to just show up on the store, and maybe it will. To push that even further, there's a new "Kindle Serials" feature. Buy all installments of an ongoing project for one low price. I well remember reading, 10 years ago, of how even big-name authors were dreaming of ditching their publishers and going to a model like this. Here it is. Reporters, most of them men, almost slept through the e-reader presentation, and the stock even fell during it. They woke up only after Bezos moved on to his new tablets (and there are two -- a 7-inch and a 9-inch). But even here Bezos emphasized the Kindle's positioning as a service, not a product. The Fire is a channel to everything Amazon sells, physical and digital, and the features are geared toward that. For instance. The new Fire supports MIMO, a faster WiFi feature found in 802.11N routers. Great for downloading movies before heading out on that trans-Pacific flight. There's more memory, to store more stuff, and Dolby sound, so those movies sound better. There is social networking support, and with the front-facing camera you can Skype mom, or your friends, all night and day. Plus X-Ray, a feature that connects back to the Amazon site so you can find out more about the actors you're watching.
Games are another media type, and the Fire has more simple games integration. But it adds a mom-friendly feature called FreeTime, which lets you give a Fire to your child but limit how much time they can spend with it. Now pull out your iPad and do your homework, kid. (Awww, mom!) The specs are there, but they're not the issue. There was no mention of the browser, but who cares about the Internet when Amazon is your only destination? Whether a media tablet is faster than an iPad is less relevant than the fact you have a shopping mall in your hand, a book to read on the train, a movie to watch on the plane, and price comparisons at the store. All through the press conference reporters argued about whether Amazon can make money with prices ranging from $69 for a slightly-updated Kindle with ads to $199 for a new Fire without. At the risk of angering all the Amazon bears I meet on investment boards, that too is not the point, my friend. The point is growth, the point is securing customers in a bearhug tighter than even Walmart ( WMT) can give them. If you're not putting every dollar that comes in back into growth, Bezos figures, it's wasted money. As the press conference went on the price of AMZN bounced between a low of $250 a share and a high of $252.44 -- the last, an all-time high. That's an earnings multiple of over 300. Revenue has doubled between 2009 and 2011, and you're looking at another big jump in 2012. All that money is going back into sustaining those sales and growing them further. Growth is the point. Loyalty among women, the hands the hold the pursestrings, is the point. Just as growing its cloud into a network and expanding that network globally is Bezos' point. Will that point sustain the stock? Stay tuned. At the time of publication, Blankenhorn owned no shares in the stocks mentioned here. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.