Amazon v. Apple in e-readers

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The question du jour  in the e-reader space asks how much of a bite out of the market will multi-use devices such as tablet PCs and smartphones acquire.  No one is willing to hazard a guess until Apple presents its “latest creation” on January 27.

But Amazon is already on the offensive.  Today it announced it will open its Kindle store to apps from software developers later this year.

A Zagat guide app is already in the works from Handmark and Sonic Boom is creating word games and puzzles.  EA Mobile is also working on games for the Kindle.

The New York Times quotes Kindle VP Ian Freed as stating that publishers are likely to sell “a new breed of e-books, like searchable travel books, and restaurant guides that can be tailored to the Kindle owner’s location; textbooks with interactive quizzes; and novels that combine text and audio.”

The latter three features we saw at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Blio, a software platform that could appear in new e-readers starting in February.  Blio may also display its super slick e-book platform on iPhones, laptops, netbooks, etc.  

We would guess that such features will also appear on the expected Apple iSlate.

Back to Amazon’s offense: the company announced that e-book authors will now receive a more favorable revenue split of 70 percent to Amazon’s 30 percent.

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