The Big Question About the Kindle Fire

Amazon finally unveiled their much talked about Kindle Fire this morning.  Finally someone understands the dynamics of the tablet market, and they have priced it correctly at $199.00.  Clearly the Fire will do a good job tying in to Amazons many services, be it books, streaming music, or video, and looks like it will deliver a decent browsing experience.

The real question which has been on my mind for a while is what about Android Apps that are not available in the Amazon App Store? You see the Fire is an Android based device, but it is not the same Android you find on other tablets.  Amazon is not a Google partner so they do not have access to Honeycomb (Android 3.x), so they built their own version of Android based on 2.x for the Fire.  I expect that Amazon got the UI right, it will look good and be easy to use, but what if I want an App that is not in the Amazon App Store, and there are many of those.

Andy half joking asked the question last night about Lotus Notes Traveler, but it is a perfectly good question, will Amazon allow apps to be installed from “untrusted sources” (remember the AT&T problems with sideloading).  When IBM does move Traveler in to the App Store will it be in the Amazon App Store.

Probably too soon to answer some or all of these questions, we will have to wait and see.  I think Amazon is going to sell a lot of these tablets, especially bundled with Amazon Prime and the free video content available with Prime it is an excellent value for the price.  As for me, I am not going to be the first one on my block to own one, I want to see how Android actually runs on it, and how flexible it is. I am also curious if Amazon has any plans to update these devices to an Ice Cream Sandwich based version of Android. Finally I am pleased that I have not seen any one refer to this device as “an iPad killer” (at least not yet) because it is simply not, it is clearly targeted for a different audience/purpose.

10 Responses to The Big Question About the Kindle Fire
  1. steve bradley
    September 28, 2011 | 1:15 pm

    CM7 or some other ROM will be available shortly and then you’ll have all of those things 😉

  2. Andy Donaldson
    September 28, 2011 | 1:26 pm

    True, it was a half kidding comment last night, not meant to jab. But the one question I have for IBM in general, will we see Traveler as a downloadable app in the Market? That would be a HUGE win in my opinion.
    As for the Android market, I think that there are still some surprises yet to come from vendors. This holiday season is going to revolve more around Android tablets then anything else and I think. Just a gut feeling.

    • Mitch Cohen
      September 28, 2011 | 1:31 pm

      Andy agree with you 100% on putting Traveler in the market, and believe IBM is headed in that direction. certainly encouraged to see the Connections apps available in their respective App stores.

      Will Android dominate the holiday season? we will have to wait and see, there is a certain product announcement next week which does not see the holiday season belonging to Android. I think the Fire is priced is right, and they will sell lots of them, but a lot of iPhone and iPads are going to move as well. One more thing which is we don’t know what the “one more thing” is from Apple, so we have to wait until Tuesday

      • Andy Donaldson
        September 28, 2011 | 2:24 pm

        I’m still thinking that even with Tuesday, Apple will wait until next year for a new pad. But I could be wrong 😉

        • Andy Donaldson
          September 28, 2011 | 2:44 pm

          I still wish Apple would come out with a 7″ device though. Just sayin…

  3. Steve Smillie
    September 28, 2011 | 4:44 pm

    I am considering this Kindle Fire, but like you said will Traveler run it? That is the big question mark. It would be the perfect device (and price) for my needs. But may have to wait and see if Traveler will work on it.

  4. John Head
    September 29, 2011 | 11:02 am

    I don’t think the Amazon Fire is really meant to displace the iPad. I don’t think Amazon really wants to handle email on the device they want you reading and watching and listening.

    I think it is a very smart plan. Focus on the consumer space. Perfect it. And then add in some business features. At sub 200 bucks, many people who have a laptop or a ipad might have a fire as well.

  5. Bill Smith
    November 16, 2011 | 2:44 pm

    Received my Kindle Fire last night, and attempted to install Traveler. The Fire does allow you to load apps from non-market sources, but Traveler did not install completely correctly. The Lotus Traveler app does show up in the applications list, but after setup the mail, calendar, and lookup apps can not be accessed from the apps list. The Traveler server shows a connected device running Android 2.3.4.

    I am hoping that someone on the Traveler development team will take an interest and reach out to Amazon.

    • Mitch Cohen
      November 16, 2011 | 4:10 pm

      Bill – Thanks for the update, interestingly enough a few weeks ago I tried to install Traveler on Bluestacks and saw exactly the same thing you are experiencing on the Fire.

      Hopefully IBM will have some news soon regarding Traveler and the Fire