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This really is an amazing opportunity for Amazon.

If they were to drop DRM and allow third party applications on the Kindle, they could blow Apple out of the water.

I doubt it -- the display prevents the platform from accommodating any kind of meaningful application ecosystem. An "open" Kindle would basically be a Palm III with a chiclet keyboard and a bigger/clearer screen. I would have wet my pants for that ten years ago, but who on earth would want one today?

(You wouldn't even get API access to the network connection; Whispernet is only financially viable because the apps on the shipping devices are incapable of consuming any meaningful amount of bandwidth.)

They are releasing an SDK soon. It remains to be seen how successful or popular it will be. http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/?ie=UTF8&docId=100...

One of the biggest issues with it is that you have to figure out a way to get users to pay for their own bandwidth - this issue doesn't surface on other devices.

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