Amazon building fire under apps for Kindle e-reader

Mar 29, 2011
Finance

Amazon (AMZN) is assaulting the Apple (AAPL) iPad tab fortress. Apple Insider reports how Amazon is trying to woo iOS App Store developers to port their apps, especially educational apps, to Kindle. There has been lots of news about tabs, including the well-reviewed Motorola Mobility (MMI) Xoom and Research In Motion’s (RIMM) forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook, […]

Amazon (AMZN) is assaulting the Apple (AAPL) iPad tab fortress.

Apple Insider reports how Amazon is trying to woo iOS App Store developers to port their apps, especially educational apps, to Kindle.

There has been lots of news about tabs, including the well-reviewed Motorola Mobility (MMI) Xoom and Research In Motion’s (RIMM) forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook, but the iPad rivals have been pricey and lacking the Apple polish.

Amazon has been seen as the only tech player that might have an actual chance to take on iPad, even though e-book readers such as the Kindle and tablets have been treated as separate entities by consumers. Many consumers own one of each, an e-book and a tab. A Kindle app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Maybe now apps will swing over to Kindle, positioning the e-reader in the tab derby.

Daniel Eran Dilger describes in AppleInsider how the developer of Atomium, a periodic table app sold in the App Store, had been approached by Amazon to port over his app to Kindle. Amazon has scheduled a conference call for today with third-party developers.

The Kindle uses an E-Ink display, which is good for long battery life and to reduce eyestrain and glare. It’s suitable for reading books on the beach in the blazing sun. But Kindle is slow to refresh, so not well adapted to fast-paced games but perhaps OK for educational apps.

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Initially at least, Amazon is trying to beat Barnes & Noble (BKS) and its Nook e-reader to the apps. Nook actually is closer to a general-purpose tab. An update, slated for April, will transform the $250 Nook Color e-book reader into a 7-inch Android tablet. (Kindle runs on Linux.)

But bigger prospects may be looming if Amazon upgrades the Kindle and takes on Apple.

Developers of best sellers at the App Store generally have been loyal to the mother ship so far—with Rovio Mobile’s Angry Birds being an exception. Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) have had little success in attracting app developers with popular titles into their App Stores.

Can Amazon with the most popular e-reader change developers’ minds?

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