Clearly the Kindle Fire is creating some buzz in the tablet community, and among people who just generally like these sort of gadgets in general. With the announcement of the new Nook Tablet, though, some people had started looking more closely into potential shortcomings for the Amazon offering and quite possibly the biggest one was the external services tie ins.
While the Nook Tablet is completely giving up on offering its own unique video service in favor of letting customers find their own way among companies like Hulu, Netflix, Rhapsody, etc., Amazon kept touting their own library selection and the advantages inherent in the integration with this library. Surely, the thinking goes, Amazon would be pointing out that they were allowing seemingly competing companies a place on their new device if such were the case. I’ve often seen this cited as a reason for the Nook Tablet’s superiority since that device was announced, in fact.
Naturally this relies on incomplete information. As I have mentioned previously, companies like Netflix and Pandora were among the few to have preview copies of the new Kindle Fire before it was officially announced and blocking access to the services these companies offer was never indicated in any way. To head off these rumors, Amazon issued a press release this week emphasizing the large selection of media based apps that we can expect to see ready for their new tablet.
In the week to come, Hulu Plus and ESPN ScoreCenter apps can be expected to appear in the marketplace. A Netflix app is confirmed as well. There will be games from popular developers like PopCap, Zynga, and EA. A number of music streaming apps from companies like Pandora will be around as well. Across the board every effort has been made to draw in app developers who might bring customers what they want on the new device regardless of how that might cause increased competition for Amazon’s own products in the long term. Pretty much the only apps you are unlikely to see on the Kindle Fire are those from more direct competitors like Apple and Barnes & Noble.
It also demonstrates Amazon’s fairly impressive confidence in their own offerings, when taken with everything together. As a digital retailer, Amazon serves up games, movies, music, and eBooks to Kindle Fire users. The fact that they still anticipate making money off of the device, which they are selling at or near the cost of manufacture, indicates faith that customers will find value in what is being offered. I would say that this has to be based on more than simply the convenience of one-click buying integration throughout the interface.
Amazon will continue to inspect all of their App Store submissions before releasing them for the Kindle Fire, but clearly this will not be to weed out the competition. Users will enjoy the full benefits that a tablet like this has to offer, which should reassure some people who have been hesitant to join up with a platform that may have seemed at first glance to be considering emulating the Apple model. No more reason to hesitate over this matter.