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.