Online retail giant Amazon is planning to open up its Kindle e-reader device for new types of content in an apparent move to stave off competition from Apple’s new tablet, reports Dow Jones Newswires. The new Apple device – strongly rumoured to be unveiled next week – is set to compete with Amazon in the e-book market but is also expected to be a platform for music, video and games. In response, Amazon has said it will invite software developers to build and upload applications that would be sold in the Kindle store later this year. In a similar model to the one used by most mobile application stores, revenue from the applications will be split between the developer (70 percent) and Amazon (30 percent), the same deal offered by Apple on its App Store.
Amazon said that ‘active content’ (it does not refer to ‘applications’) on the Kindle that use only a nominal amount of wireless data – less than 100 kilobytes per month – will be sold as a one-time purchase. Other apps will be sold as a monthly subscription, while very small apps – less than 1 megabyte in size – may be offered for free. “Kindle is capable of offering readers a broad range of content that goes beyond what the book is today,” said Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon.