Amazon.com may have created a custom build of Google's Android operating system for its forthcoming Kindle tablet. This could have a big impact on the market.
(NASDAQ:AMZN) customization of Android for its Kindle tablet could actually be
better for the tablet market, according to an analyst.
TechCrunch reported earlier this month that the 7-inch, full-color
Kindle tablet is based on Android 2.1
, albeit with layers of customization
on top that make it look nothing like the builds Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has
interface, touch gestures and other features will be optimized for accessing
Amazon content via its Website, which has just been upgraded with bigger buttons
and spacing to make it more accessible via tablets.
developers and industry watchers would shrink from the notion of a new splinter
of Android. Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin noted that could be a good
could propel more development for its own content, creating a "better
ecosystem" than what currently exists for tablets via Google's Android
Market store, Bajarin said in a piece on PCMAG.com
reach is so broad that it can easily entice Android developers to create apps
just for its version of the Android platform, sold exclusively through Amazon's
own Android store," he added.
There are only
over 100 Honeycomb applications, compared with over 100,000 applications for
Apple's iPad. With Amazon behind it, the Kindle tablet ecosystem could foster
tens of thousands of applications, if not more.
also expects Amazon would produce a more targeted set of developer guidelines
and tools governing all applications created for the Amazon tablet. Amazon has already proven its willingness to do this with
its Amazon Appstore rules
combined with a sub-$300 price point, is a product that folks such as actor
Charlie Sheen would classify as "winning." Bajarin explained the
to Amazon's brand, the Kindle Tablet could quickly become the dominant
Android tablet platform that developers support, with an Appstore that
consumers will come to trust.
would make it harder for Samsung, HTC and other Android tablet vendors to
compete with Apple and Amazon. That's assuming Apple's tablet litigation
won't extend to Amazon to slow the emerging platform down the way it has
ground Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 shipments to a halt overseas.
could ensure that Google and Motorola would create their own vertically integrated
approaches to the market. "They would build a more competitive
platform to take on Apple and Amazon." We'll believe that when we see
could worry that Apple was the only tablet maker with considerable clout in
brand, applications and content, where Apple is strongest.
easily quibble with the last point, if only because all Android tablets have
failed miserably to date. Consider the following about the Kindle Tablet.
is as sanguine as Forrester Research
, which expects the e-commerce
giant could sell 3 million to 5 million units in the fourth quarter. Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente predicted Amazon
will see only 2 million Android tablets in 2011.
number could soar to 6.4 million in 2012, which is not bad, but far less than
the nearly 50 million iPads DiClemente expects to ship in 2012. It's hard to
see how 6.4 million Kindle tablets sold can be construed as competitive to 50
But it's nice
to know someone else with staying power is trying. Amazon could make the