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Amazon announces: apps will arrive on Kindle

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Interactive content, real software and even video games will soon be available on Amazon's Kindle, which users can purchase directly from an online store. The evolution of the Kindle ecosystem seems to bring the device of the great online retailer in direct line of competition with the Apple tablet and a clear move aimed at raising the level of competition appears.

On the one hand, as known, Apple according to most observers will position the tablet as a system for using digital content, videos, music, magazines, newspapers but also books. The latter function cannot fail to worry Amazon that has built a large part of its commercial strategies around the e-book reader. Hence the need to open the Kindle to functions that will be available to Tablet customers, including, in fact, applications and interactivity to respond on the same level. If Apple, in short, creates a system to compete with Amazon, Amazon must necessarily try to offer a product that has some functions of the tablet.

Despite the similarity between the latest strategic turns of Amazon and those of Apple (yesterday the announcement of the new revenue sharing model that at the original 50-50, half to publishers and half to Amazon goes to 70-30 identical to that offered by Cupertino on the App Store to developers) the doubt remains about the adequacy of Amazon's hardware to the competition with a device like the Apple Tablet certainly much more advanced and powerful. Just think of the color display, the graphic acceleration, the possibility of writing texts and reading files of the most popular office systems, this front of a Kindle that certainly has a very long autonomy thanks to the e-Ink screen, but also an Achilles heel in the black and white screen and above all with a refresh completely incompatible with any modern application.

Even the payment and connection scheme for the Kindle clearly structured around the world of electronic publishing in the book field. Kindle users do not pay a subscription for the use of the integrated cellular data connection. The cost of using the network is thus integrated into the purchase price of the digital books that users purchase. During the counting phase, Amazon deducts 15 cents from the sale price for each MB of data traffic.

To deal with this obstacle, which is no small matter and runs the risk of making competition with the App Store uneconomic or difficult, Amazon has announced three possible solutions for the distribution of Apps for Kindle. Smaller applications weighing less than 1MB can be offered for free, software that requires access to the cellular network can instead be sold for a monthly subscription. Finally, programs that require very low data traffic, less than 100KB per month, can be sold at a fixed price.