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Amazon gives Kindle away for free, launches apps

Amazon gives Kindle away for free, launches apps

Amazon's Kindle - right - isn't scared of other eBook readers, but the Apple Tablet appears to have it on the run

If you’ve been reading about tech on the internet in the past month you’ve probably not been able to avoid the hype, pre-hype, and pre-pre-pre-hype about Apple’s supposedly impending Tablet device. Allegedy – perhaps – and quite possibly – sporting a 10in touchscreen, looking like an iPhone on steroids, and coming to steal away your wife, existing business model and everything you thought you knew, the Tablet may well be announced next Wednesday at an Apple gathering in San Francisco.

It’s not just us feeble mortals who are anticipating the Tablet though; Apple’s impending announcement seems to have Amazon rattled, as the company has announced a slew of new initiatives for its Kindle eBook reader. Many of its new ideas seem to be directly anticipating an Apple device that can display books and magazines.

First up, Amazon has decided to offer some book lovers a free Kindle. According to comments on TechCrunch, Amazon is emailing certain customers asking them to try the Kindle – and if it’s not to their liking, they can get their money back, but keep the device.

Then there’s Amazon’s decision to make the Kindle a better deal for authors and publishers. Amazon’s pricing for books and media on the Kindle has long been controversial, with publishers unhappy at the retailer’s attempt to impose a flat $9.99 fee for books, while taking 65 per cent of the cash – only sending 35 per cent to the author and publisher. Apple’s App Store offers coders 70 per cent of the revenue, with Apple taking a 30 per cent cut – precisely the same deal Amazon itself is now offering on the Kindle.

Finally, Amazon has, from somewhere, come up with the radical idea of creating an App Store for the Kindle. Next month, it will be releasing a limited beta of the KDK – Kindle Development Kit – allowing third party coders to create “active content”, although “Voice over IP functionality, advertising, offensive materials, collection of customer information without express customer knowledge and consent, or usage of the Amazon or Kindle brand in any way are not allowed.

We recently reviewed the Kindle, and while we liked the device, its use of a proprietary file format and rather limited concessions to the UK market meant we didn't recommend it.

Will Amazon’s initiatives help the Kindle, or will it be destroyed by a forthcoming iWonder from Apple? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

17 Comments

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kingred 22nd January 2010, 15:49 Quote
kindle is dead soon.
l3v1ck 22nd January 2010, 15:51 Quote
I think it'll be a long long long time before these things catch on.
woodss 22nd January 2010, 16:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingred
kindle is dead soon.

Sony one is sweet though
Farfalho 22nd January 2010, 18:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingred
kindle is dead soon.

Why, because Apple throws a "new" device to the world that all blinded hyped people will rush to buy and acclaim that Apple is the best?

They got it right with iPhone, sweet although I don't find it appealing. There other "players" out there and were reviewed by BT. I much you wanna bet that Tablet-thingy will cost even more? After all, it's Apple that's making it.
Denis_iii 22nd January 2010, 18:32 Quote
i'd love to have a Kindle but overpriced in my opinion.
Apple tablet is going to be waywayway overpriced being an Apple product.
scarrmrcc 22nd January 2010, 18:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_iii
i'd love to have a Kindle but overpriced in my opinion.
Apple tablet is going to be waywayway overpriced being an Apple product.

water is wet.
2bdetermine 22nd January 2010, 19:19 Quote
It sound more like Kindle is running scare of a mysterious Asus DR-570 color ebook reader with an outrageous 122 hours battery life.
whiskers 22nd January 2010, 21:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farfalho
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingred
kindle is dead soon.
They got it right with iPhone

I don't get it, why do people always say that? What exactly did they get right? Taking other people's technology and polishing it? OK, I'll give you that. But the iPhone is not the holy grail of the smartphone market. It's just hyped and popular because of that.
Farfalho 23rd January 2010, 01:11 Quote
That's what I meant, they got it right building it (it could be a complete rubbish since it was their first "cell phone") but if you see what I say next, doesn't have any appeal to me.

I am more of a Blackberry enthusiast than an iPhone.
flipdart 23rd January 2010, 03:00 Quote
oh, the joy of a free market. compete, or die.
alpha0ne23 23rd January 2010, 07:55 Quote
The more competition the better for readers and writers
Oblique36 23rd January 2010, 22:57 Quote
The Iphone is pretty freaking incredible. A friend of mine just added an app that tells him where cop speed traps are. People report where the cop is, the phones GPS marks the location, and if you add bogus reports the app will ban you based on other users inputs. He reports that the app is almost full-proof at avoiding tickets. Point is Apple is supernova brilliant at giving people uber cool devices that are sexy, easy to use and very useful to boot. The tablet device will probably be more of the same.

I just wish Apple didn't behave with the arrogance of a virtual monopoly and treat their customers like mindless cattle being fed up the shoots to slaughter. When they had that 21" and 24" monitor recall a few years back they actually deleted people off their help forums who mentioned the problem, rather than staining their saintly image and having a proper recall like normal companies do. They did the same thing to people with Leopard OS and blue screens of death. For me, owning an Apple product would be the same as being dipped in evil.
Initialised 24th January 2010, 21:14 Quote
Calling it a slate rather than a tablet is a bitter pill to swallow or is iTablet just asking for Apple branded e's to flood the market again?
l3v1ck 24th January 2010, 23:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oblique36
Point is Apple is supernova brilliant at giving people uber cool devices that are sexy, easy to use and very useful to boot.
They're also brilliant at treating their customers with contempts and only letting people do what Apple want them to do with their phones.
memeroot 25th January 2010, 08:45 Quote
readers are probably about to go big time given I'm thinking of getting one and the uptake of pirated copies.... however it has to be said that kindle with its media format is not on the list
rollo 25th January 2010, 12:21 Quote
£375 - £600 is what most sites say apple tablet will cost

which is well within most peoples reaches to just give the money over and buy 1.
leveller 25th January 2010, 19:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oblique36
Point is Apple is supernova brilliant at giving people uber cool devices that are sexy, easy to use and very useful to boot.
They're also brilliant at treating their customers with contempts and only letting people do what Apple want them to do with their phones.

Grow up and get over it, we've been here many times before. Buy an Android and stop repeating the same old shite. No one is under an illusion about what you can or cant install on the iPhone, so that being the case, no one has been hurt in the lifecycle of the iPhone?
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