Amazon opens app store of sorts

Social network cum online retailer Amazon expanded its empire with the launch of an app store of sorts for the e-reader market.

Using the US firm’s Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP), independent publishers can upload and sell their books in English, German and French to customers worldwide via the Kindle Store.

Additional language options for the DTP platform will be added in the coming months, paving the way for wannabe authors worldwide to sell their wares online. Although the revenue cut Amazon takes is somewhat on the painful side.

Publishers can set their own list price for content, but Amazon will keep 65 per cent of the revenue. This compares to Apple’s 30 per cent cut of apps sold in the App Store.

Late last year Amazon pushed its own e-reader, the Kindle, global, validating the initiative’s nascent business model, with some Wall Street analysts, including Citigroup’s Mahaney and Stifel Nicolaus’ Devitt, recently predicting that the Kindle will quickly grow into a $1bn business. As Informa analyst Tammy Parker notes, that is a huge vote of confidence for a consumer-electronics device and related service and, although it’s far from perfect, the Kindle is showing that a wireless product can be a revenue generator even if the end-user is not a direct subscriber to the mobile network that serves the device. “It opens the door to advertising-supported mobile services and many more business models under which customers can enjoy the benefits of mobile connectivity without having to pay a subscription fee,” Parker said.

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