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Amazon pimps Kindle ahead of presumed Apple tablet launch

by Scott Bicheno on 21 January 2010, 09:28

Tags: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

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Retaliating first

Irrespective of what Apple announces next week, the tablet, or slate, looks like being the new PC form-factor of the year. Quite what the point of the tablet is, however, remains unclear, as users will be asked to forgo a physical keyboard in exchange for...erm...other things.

But one thing they'll definitely be used for is consuming media - especially e-books, a theory that's given extra weight by reports that Apple is in talks with HarperCollins to make its books available on the presumed Apple tablet.

This creates a threat for the e-reader incumbents, the most prominent of which is Amazon with its Kindle. So it stands to reason that Amazon would move to improve the Kindle offering in anticipation of these product launches, and this is taking the form of giving it more ‘PC-like' development flexibility.

Last week Amazon announced it was expanding its Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP) to allow authors from anywhere in the world to effectively self-publish on Kindle in English, German or French. Then, yesterday, Amazon announced that authors using DTP can opt to receive up to 70 percent of royalties from the books they publish.

Today, Amazon has taken things beyond mere e-books and announced a Kindle Development Kit, to allow third party developers to "build and upload active content" onto the device. "Working with Amazon, we look forward to bringing some of the world's most popular and fun games to Kindle and their users," said Adam Sussman, VP of worldwide publishing at EA Mobile.

A limited beta of the Kindle Development Kit will commence next month.


HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Quite what the point of the tablet is, however, remains unclear, as users will be asked to forgo a physical keyboard …
I thought the pulse smartpen had already convinced you that a physical keyboard wasn't necessary for an amazing compting experience ;)

Surely the point of the tablet / slate is to take smartphones / PDAs and make them usable? I love my HTC Magic, and I loved my SPV M600, but I've tried using them for e.g. note-taking in meetings, and it's simply not practical. That leaves me the choice of lugging a heavier netbook / laptop around and typing everything in, or taking rough notes using pen / paper and then finding time to type them up before I lose them or spill coffee on them. A tablet with decent handwriting recognition would be the ideal solution - it'd be as quick for taking notes as pen & paper, but would then automatically digitise them. Ideally, of course, the tablet would then slide into a dock when I get back to the office for use as a conventional PC…

Anyway, yeah, I've been waiting for something slate / tablet like to become mainstream for a couple of years now, and I'm really looking forward to see what comes out.
blackberry's keyboard is as good as a laptop's if not better jim :)
So for you, scaryjim, the point of a tablet is handwriting recognition. Do you think that's a sufficient unique selling point to give it mass appeal?
To me it seems like a step backwards really as typing is so much faster than writing (at least for me +-100wpm, but I've been doing it since I was about 3)
Can you type on a blackberry as quick as on a netbook?