Online book retailing giant Amazon.com today announced it will release a software version of its popular Kindle device for Android smartphones this summer.

The new software download will enabled Android users to purchase, download and read any of the 540,000 books available through the Amazon e-book service. Book prices will start from $US9.99.

“Kindle for Android is the perfect companion application for Kindle and Kindle DX owners, and is also a great way for customers to enjoy over 540,000 books in the Kindle Store even if they don’t yet have a Kindle,” said Jay Marine, director, Amazon Kindle. “We think customers are going to love the convenience and simplicity of having instant access to a massive selection of books from Amazon on their Droid, Nexus, Incredible and many more Android devices.”

Kindle for Android will also include Amazon’s WhisperSync technology that allows readers to store bookmarks that automatically update with Kindle ereader software on their other devices including Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch, computers, Blackberry and now Android-based smartphones.

Users will also be able to access previously purchased books stored on Amazon servers direct from their Android phone.

With new devices appearing on almost a weekly basis now, the e-book reader market is hotting up although given early sales of Apple’s iPad – more than one million sold in the first 28 days since its US release on April 3 – there appears to be room enough for everyone. For the time being.

Android users wanting to know more and be notified when Kindle for Android is released can sign up at http://www.amazon.com/kindleforandroid

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