“Soon” Kindle Fire lovers will have another hard choice upon them, if claims by Staple’s CEO, Demos Parneros, are spot on. According to Parneros, 5-6 new Kindle Fire tablets (new sizes/SKUs, really) will arrive online and in stores “shortly”. While not specified by either Parneros or Amazon (who declined to comment, of course), one of those 5-6 SKUs could very well be an Amazon branded phone.
The goal with new Kindle Fire tablets is to suck people more into the Amazon ecosystem of books, movies and music much like Apple has done with their iTunes ecosystem. However, in Amazon’s case it would be a complete opposite reason. Apple is a hardware company first. They make their money on new iPads, iPhones, Macs, etc., and sell software at break even costs (or with minor profit) to get you to buy more hardware. Amazon on the other hand prices their hardware very affordably and in turn hopes you’ll spend all those dollars that would have gone towards pricey hardware, on lots of apps/books/music from their online store instead.
Amazon’s tablet/hardware story is an interesting one. While they have made Android the go-to standard OS on their mobile hardware, it is heavily customized and locked down. Normally this is a bad thing as it causes update delays and brings many hardware devices to their knees with poorly down skins and bloatware. But in Amazon’s case, their cohesive ecosystem is relatively well done, almost Apple-like even.
Could we eventually be talking about Apple and Amazon duking it out as opposed to other standalone manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola and HTC?