To stay competitive and keep the Kindle on top of the ebook race, Amazon released the Kindle Development Kit (KDK) not too long ago. Perhaps it was a move to compete with Apple’s iPad. But some Kindle users aren’t really interested in the apps. Why? Well if they wanted a “tablet PC” they could just go out and buy one. Most Kindle users are simply interested in just reading books.
True, the KDK allows creativity for developers to build and upload apps that will be available in the Kindle store later this year. Amazon promised a 70% share to the developer, while 30% goes to Amazon, net of delivery fees of $0.15/MB. The active content will be priced in three different ways:
• Free – Smaller than 1MB, uses less than 100KB per user per month of wireless data.
• One-time Purchase – Customers will be charged one time when purchasing active content. Less than 100KB per user per month with ongoing wireless usage.
• Monthly Subscription – Buyers will be charged once a month.
Sweet, but on some ebook message boards, Kindle users are saying they aren’t interested in the apps. In fact, some Kindle users are really turned on by the fact that the Kindle isn’t a tablet PC. For them, it’s like being part of an exclusive club. The Kindle is unique because it replicates the book experience.
While this could be ground-breaking technology, Kindle users don’t want app technology to interfere with their reading experience. Some feel that their cell phones, laptops, PCs, and other gadgets can feed the need for apps. They want their Kindle left alone.
There are unfortunately two negative things to consider with Kindle apps. First, they might not be appealing due to the e-ink technology. That chess game may prove to be a bit boring in grayscale. Also, the Kindle is known for its superior battery life. It is truly an attribute that Kindle users enjoy because they don’t have to carry around a power cord, but the added usage of other apps may change that because these programs could drain the power supply quickly.
Amazon has to come up with unique ideas to stay in the race and compete with tablet technology, and the KDK was a great way to involve developers in making the Kindle more unique with apps. It will be interesting to see how responsive the Kindle cult will be once the apps hit the store. To all Amazon Kindle users that want to read a book sans a Twitter ticker just know that you don’t have to download it!