The Downside to the Kindle’s Free 3G Wireless

From Amazon’s Kindle Development Kit terms:

Active content will be available to customers in the Kindle Store later this year. Your active content can be priced three ways:

  • Free — Active content applications that are smaller than 1MB and use less than 100 KB/user/month of wireless data may be offered at no charge to customers. Amazon will pay the wireless costs associated with delivery and maintenance.

  • One-time Purchase — Customers will be charged once when purchasing active content. Content must have nominal (less than 100 KB/user/month) ongoing wireless usage.

  • Monthly Subscription — Customers will be charged once per month for active content.

So for free and one-time-charge apps, there’s a monthly limit of 100 kilobytes of bandwidth. Go over that and the developer has to start paying the bill. As point of reference for just how small 100 KB is, the Daring Fireball RSS feed at this moment is 115 KB. With gzip compression, it shrinks to 36 KB. So even with compression, a free or one-time-charge Kindle app could only download the DF RSS feed twice per month without going over.

Friday, 22 January 2010