A tablet computer from Apple could threaten Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader, but the Kindle, which now accounts for 70 percent of electronic reader sales, is getting more versatile, reports the New York Times. On Jan. 21, Amazon will take a page from Apple and announce that it is opening up the Kindle to outside software developers. Apple’s much-anticipated tablet computer, which is widely expected to be announced next Jan. 27 and go on sale this spring, will be a far more versatile (and expensive) device that will offer access to books, newspapers, and other reading material through Apple’s popular App Store on iTunes. In its Jan. 21 announcement, Amazon will say it’s letting programmers create what it calls active content—similar to applications—for the Kindle and keep 70 percent of the revenue from each sale after paying for wireless delivery costs. Amazon will release a set of programming guidelines that other companies can use to create and sell applications for the Kindle. Until Amazon introduces more advanced models of the Kindle, however, developers will be limited by its slow-to-refresh, black-and-white screen…

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staff and wire services reports