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Kindle apps seen as another challenge to Apple Tablet

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Yesterday, Amazon announced it would raise royalty rates for authors and publishers using the Kindle Digital Text Platform, a move widely seen as a preemptive strike against the forthcoming Apple Tablet. Now the company has invited third-party developers to produce applications for the Kindle, much in the same way that Apple allows folks to develop content for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and (presumably) the Apple Tablet.

Keep in mind, dear readers, that the Apple Tablet does not officially exist. It's rumored that Apple will take the wraps off the thing at the end of this month, although details are scarce. Still, that hasn't stopped Amazon from preparing itself for a full-out battle royale. The royalty rate hike, for instance, was widely seen as an attempt to bolster Amazon's hold on the e-book market, and prevent an onslaught by the Tablet.

Similarly, the roll-out of the Kindle Development Kit will put Amazon in direct competition with Apple. "We've heard from lots of developers over the past two years who are excited to build on top of Kindle," Amazon's Ian Freed said in a statement. "The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities – we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent."

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