Amazon Wants To Emulate Apple With Kindle Apps

Amazon has announced the availability of the development kit for Kindle which will be in limited beta as from next month and will allow developers to code what Amazon calls "innovative active content" for its Kindle ecosystem.

The kit will comprise of sample code, ample documentation and, most importantly, a Kindle simulator that will allow developers to "build and test" their application in a virtual platform that mimics 6-inch Kindle and 9.7-inch Kindle DX in Mac, PC, and Linux environments.

Amazon said that it will keeping 30 percent of the revenues, leaving the developer to pocket the bulk of whatever they've earned with delivery costs amounting to 15 cents per MB as charged by Amazon over Whispernet.

Active content will be available to Kindle owners later in 2010 and Amazon will offer three pricing tiers either free (for content applications smaller than 1MB and likely to use less than 100KB of wireless data per month per user), one time purchase or a monthly, rolling subscription.

Already Sonic Boom and games developer Electronic Arts have signed for the beta SDK and have promised applications by the end of the year, albeit not as flashy and colourful as on the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Ian Freed, the chap responsible for the Kindle at Amazon, said that "We've heard from lots of developers over the past two years who are excited to build on top of Kindle". Developers and those interested, can sign up here.

Our Comments

Is Amazon too late to the party? Apple is likely to release a tablet device over the next few days that will make the Kindle look positively antiquated. Amazon is not a hardware company and it is likely that even as it releases the SDK, others will be more interested by ARMdroid tablets.

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