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Kindle opened to program developers

Bloomberg News / January 22, 2010

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NEW YORK - Amazon.com Inc., preparing for competition in electronic readers from Apple Inc., invited software developers to build programs such as games and puzzles for the Kindle device.

Starting next month, developers will be able to design programs that will be made available in the Kindle Store later this year, the company said yesterday. Programs may include word games and books with information based on real-time weather and current events.

The move mirrors the arrangement Apple has with programmers who make applications for its iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Apple plans to introduce a tablet computer this month, a person familiar with the matter has said. The device will include an e-reader that competes with the Kindle, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

The Kindle has about 60 percent of the US market, with Sony Corp. ranking second, according to Forrester Research Inc. As sales of e-books grow, at least 40 digital readers will be available this year.

Amazon.com, based in Seattle, said Wednesday that it would offer a 70 percent commission to authors and publishers that put their titles on the Kindle.