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6/16/2009
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Amazon Could Open Kindle To Other E-Book Formats

Chief executive Jeff Bezos also may consider subsidizing the Kindle in return for subscription contract, if that's what Amazon customers want.

Amazon Kindle DX
(click image for larger view)
Amazon Kindle DX

Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos says the Kindle eventually will read more than just Amazon's electronic book formats.

In an on-stage interview at Wired magazine's New York conference on disruptive technology, Bezos' comments stemmed from a discussion on how he prefers to keep Amazon's Kindle business separate from its e-book business. In time, Amazon plans to offer e-books for the same $9.99 price on other devices, besides the Kindle. Amazon currently offers e-books on the Apple iPhone.

"The device team has the job of making the most remarkable purpose-built reading device in the world,” said Bezos, according to The New York Times. "We are going to give the device team competition. We will make Kindle books, at the same $9.99 price points, available on the iPhone, and other mobile devices and other computing devices."

While not releasing details, Bezos said the Kindle would read other e-book formats in the future, the Times said. The Kindle DX, a larger version of the original Kindle, was introduced last month with support for Adobe's popular PDF document format. The smaller Kindle does not support PDF.

Bezos also said he considered selling the Kindle at a discount in return for buyers agreeing to buy a certain number of books or paying $60 a month for content subscription. However, he preferred the simpler option of selling hardware at a profitable price and having people pay separately for content, rather than following the model used by wireless carriers in offering cellular phones for a low price in return for two-year service contracts.

"We want to have the best electronic book store, and we want to have the best-built e-reader -- not try to use one thing to advantage the other," he said, according to Wired.

However, Bezos said he would consider subsidizing the Kindle in return for subscription contract, if that's what Amazon customers want.

Amazon sells the Kindle DX, which has a 9.7-inch display, for $489. The original Kindle, which has a 6-inch screen, sells for $359. Both devices come with a free wireless connection for buying e-books and newspaper and magazine subscriptions from Amazon.


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