Amazon’s Kindle To Evolve into an… iPad?

Mobile marketers take note.

Amazon may be taking a page from the iPad’s rich entertainment and advertising potential by transforming the popular Kindle device into a veritable iPad clone.

The New York Times is reporting that Amazon is on a “hiring spree” and scooping up a wide assortment of new developers, engineers, and other creative geniuses to “possibly” help develop and launch a next generation Kindle.

The announcement earlier this year about the iPad — with its high-contrast color screen, Web browser, games, applications and computing capabilities — brought a wave of of speculation over the future of Amazon’s e-reader.

Amazon’s Kindle division, Lab 126, is beefing up its team ahead of reported plans to ambitiously upgrade the ereader with everything from gaming support to an SDK for the Kindle. For now, all evidence points to Amazon posturing itself to better compete with the iPad by more closely resembling it.

In this regard, however, turnabout is fair play, given that Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, openly admitted at the iPad’s introduction that the revolutionary tablet was partially inspired by the Kindle. “Now Amazon’s done a great job of pioneering this functionality with the Kindle,” said Jobs. “And we’re going to stand on their shoulders and go a bit further.”

At present, it isn’t clear when a new Kindle could ultimately reach the masses. But a major update to the Kindle now looks more like an inevitability than just a possibility.