Amazon opened up its electronic bookstore to the Apple iPhone and iPod on Wednesday, less than a month after unveiling the latest generation of its popular e-book reader, the Kindle.
Amazon said a free software program available from Apple's App Store turns an iPhone or iPod touch into an electronic reader capable of reading books from the vast Kindle library of more than 240,000 titles.
"We are excited to bring the new Kindle application to Apple's App Store and think customers are going to love how easy and fun it is to read their Kindle books on the iPhone and iPod touch," said Amazon Kindle vice president Ian Freed.
"Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch is a great way for customers to catch up on their current book wherever they are," he added.
Amazon said its "Whispersync" feature allows a reader to save their place in a book regardless of the device they are using.
"Kindle customers can read a few pages on their iPhone or iPod touch and pick up right where they left off on their Kindle or Kindle 2," it said.
Electronic books cannot be bought directly from an iPhone or iPod but must be transferred from a Kindle or online through the Amazon's Kindle Store to the Apple devices.
"Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch" is available through Apple's App Store or at www.itunes.com/appstore.
Amazon's move to extend its electronic library to the iPhone and iPod comes less than a month after it released the Kindle 2, a slimmer, faster version of the original Kindle.
The Kindle 2, which costs 359 dollars, has two gigabytes of memory, allowing it to hold more than 1,500 books compared with 200 for the original Kindle, and 16 shades of gray text as opposed to four in the first Kindle.
Amazon does not release sales figures for the Kindle but according to analysts it has sold more than 500,000 of the devices.
Internet search giant Google also plans to make its vast online library of more than 1.5 million public domain books available for mobile phones such as the iPhone or T-Mobile G1, which is powered by Google's Android software.
Google will initially only be offering books in the public domain -- those which are not under copyright -- for mobile phones.
Amazon, on the other hand, offers the latest releases in its Kindle Store, including 104 of 112 New York Times bestsellers.
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