I’ve been reading about Amazon’s new tablet that they named Fire. There are a few questions I have about the new device.
Why Has Amazon Created A New Browser?
Of course the stated reason is to enhance the user experience by providing faster download speeds. Could there be an ulterior motive? As this post points out:
Amazon now has what every storefront lusts for: the knowledge of what other stores your customers are shopping in and what prices they’re being offered there.
By using Amazon Web Services (AWS), Silk will be able to sit in the middle of all the traffic between Silk users and other web sites.
A follow up question is why stop at the Fire? Will Amazon port Silk to other mobile devices? As this post points out:
If that is the case I wonder if Silk can run on a regular Android device.
Thin Silk client offering a gate to your Amazon content on other OSs? Say, on iOS?
Can The Amazon Fire Access Google’s Android Marketplace?
Amazon has their own market for Android applications and the Fire will make it easy to access this market. But will users of the Fire be able to access applications offered through the Google Android market?
Is Amazon trying to create a walled garden and lock in users to only access the Amazon market?
Why Did Amazon Choose An Older Version of Android?
The Fire uses Android 2.3 instead of a more recent 3 series release. This strikes me as a little peculiar because the 3 series Honeycomb release was directly targeted at tablet devices. Did Amazon choose 2.3 because it is more open than the 3 series releases?
As it turns out, Android is not as open as Google’s PR team would like us to believe.
Google has said it will never publish the source code of Android 3.0 (aside from Linux), even though executables have been released to the public. Android 3.1 source code is also being withheld.
The Fire is not scheduled to ship until November. It remains to be seen how the new Silk browser and Fire tablet will impact the mobile device market.