Amazon’s flagship device, the Kindle Fire, seems to have made its mark on the market, with analysts giving it hoorahs all the way. Now that much of the initial hype has died down and the product has entered mainstream tech-circle talk, let’s analyze the underlying tectonic movements here. One question that seems to be very prominent on the developer and analyst front is the Kindle’s true relation with the Android market.
To really understand what’s going on right now… the match behind the smoke… we need to dwell on Google’s pulling of Android strings on the mobile theatre-front. Dig this, compared to carriers and competitors, the search-engine giant slithers through the mobile woods at breakneck speed, dishing out newer versions of its dessert & cake-based OS at breakneck speed.
Between the initial versions of Froyo (v2.2) and Gingerbread (v2.3x), only 7 months went by. Now, what does that mean to the market? In the developer universe, that means “fragmentation.” Meaning no single group of Android phones is running the latest version of the OS. In fact, surprisingly, the largest percentage of devices accessing the Android market over the past couple of days was still using Froyo with 45.3%.
Enter the Kindle Fire
Now that you understand the Android world’s fragmentation, let’s see how Kindle Fire fits in. When Jeff Bezos was heralding Amazon’s swan dive into tablet-territory, there was no mention of the term “Google” and “Android.” Did anybody else find that strange? That…..is because the device just does not link back to Android’s back-end infrastructure motored by the search-engine giant’s mobile prowess.
In essence, whilst you will be able to download apps for the “Fire” from Amazon’s own appstore for Android, the developer community will face the problem of their apps having limited features on Kindles due to the lack of linkage to the back-end. And that basically, creates even more fragmentation here, albeit, at the same time, it fires up the market and adds more fodder for analysts’ keyboards. Good luck to all players in the tablet arena!