Amazon has decided to open its popular e-reader, the Kindle, to developers.
Amazon has begun distributing a Kindle Development Kit to a select number of partners, including video games maker Electronic Arts (EA). Amazon has confirmed that user revenue will be split 70% to the developer and 30% to Amazon net of delivery fees of $0.15 / MB.
The Kindle Development Kit includes sample code, documentation, and the Kindle Simulator, which allows developers to build and test their content on virtual versions of Kindle hardware and PC, Mac and Linux software.
"The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities--we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent" said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Kindle.
Developers will be able to sell their applications, called "active content" by Amazon, in the following ways:
- Free – Active content applications that are smaller than 1MB and use less than 100KB/user/month of wireless data may be offered at no charge to customers. Amazon will pay the wireless costs associated with delivery and maintenance.
- One-time Purchase – Customers will be charged once when purchasing active content. Content must have nominal (less than 100KB/user/month) ongoing wireless usage.
- Monthly Subscription – Customers will be charged once per month for active content.
With Apple rumoured to be launching a Tablet next week, it remains to be seen whether an application store on non-colour screen device will take off. Amazon plans to introduce a limited beta of the development kit next month. "Active content" for the Kindle will be available later this year according to an Amazon spokesperson.