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Development kit launches for Kindle

Beta trial for 100mb apps to begin shortly on platform

Amazon is to introduce a development kit for the Kindle, which will allow third-party developers to create applications for use with the e-reader.

Applications can be 100Mb or less in size, Amazon has said, and revenue from sales will be split with 70 per cent going to the developer and 30 per cent to Amazon.

The kit - dubbed the Kindle Development Kit - will be launched as part of a limited beta trial next month. Participants will get access to the kit - which allows developers to build and test their content on Mac, PC and Linux - sample code, documentation and developer support.

Once active content goes live to customers via the Kindle Store later this year, developers will be able to choose from three pricing options - free, a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription.

Amazon points out that, unlike smart phones, Kindle doesn't charge users a monthly wireless fee, so active content will need to be priced to cover the costs of downloads and on-going usage.

It adds that while the upper limit for apps is 100Mb, those larger than 10Mb won't be delivered wirelessly to the Kindle, but will be downloadable from the Kindle Store to a computer, then transferred via USB connection.

"We are excited to see what you invent for Kindle," stated Amazon's site, where developers can sign up for the beta trial now.

Estimates have put the number of Kindle devices sold to date at in excess of 1.5 million and Amazon is now shipping it to countries outside of the US. The Kindle DX comes with a 9.7 inch screen, 4Gb of storage, an accelerometer, built-in stereo speakers and wireless capability.