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Last week, Amazon lowered the Kindle’s price to match the Nook, effectively setting off some heated competition between e-reader manufacturers. Which makes it interesting that today, Amazon is launching an updated Kindle app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that gives those devices multimedia functionality that the Kindle itself doesn’t have. Certain books now have audio & video — a cake recipe book now has video instructions, for instance. This sort of functionality was already available in individual apps for the iPad, but it could be a big difference in how Amazon markets their Kindle Books store in the future.

Amazon Announces New Functionality for Kindle Apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
Readers can now enjoy embedded video and audio clips in Kindle books on their iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

SEATTLE, Jun 27, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced a new update to Kindle for iPad and Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch, which allows readers to enjoy the benefits of embedded video and audio clips in Kindle books. The first books to take advantage of this new technology, including Rick Steves’ London by Rick Steves and Together We Cannot Fail by Terry Golway, are available in the Kindle Store at http://www.amazon.com/kindleaudiovideo.

“We are excited to add this functionality to Kindle for iPad and Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch,” said Dorothy Nicholls, director, Amazon Kindle. “Readers will already find some Kindle Editions with audio/video clips in the Kindle Store today–from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes with video tips on preparing the perfect cake to Bird Songs with audio clips that relate the songs and calls to the birds’ appearances. This is just the beginning–we look forward to seeing what authors and publishers create for Kindle customers using the new functionality of the Kindle apps.”

“We are truly excited to have collaborated with Amazon to launch Kindle Editions with audio/video,” said Peter Balis, Director, Digital Content Sales, Wiley. “Innovations like these represent the advantages that digital can offer. Advancing our content in this manner is important for our authors and our readers and it will raise the bar on what digital reading can offer for years to come.”

“In the new Kindle Edition with audio/video of Rick Steves’ London, the embedded walking tours allow customers to listen to Rick as they explore the sites of London,” said Bill Newlin, publisher, Avalon Travel. “Rick’s narration adds depth to the reader’s experience, while listeners can follow the routes more easily with the text.”

Kindle Editions with audio/video are available now with the latest Kindle App on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Kindle for iPhone is now optimized for iPhone 4′s retina display. For more information, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindleapps.



Chris Gullo