September 10, 2012

Amazon's 'Open' Challenge to Android

September 10, 2012 Posted by Vijay No comments
Amazon's kindles announced last week, have bumped up the Wall Street's sentiments about the giant online retailer. Not only have the new Kindles been accepted wholeheartedly, it may also pose a challenge for tablet makers as a whole. Ironically, what Google built seems to be used against it. At a time when Google has acquired Motorola, and is looking to expand its own Android device business, Amazon has used Android, and put in so much of its own flavor, that the Android ecosystem is no longer a necessity for Amazon's tablets to survive.

Amazon's tablets have their own Silk browser, its own Android app store. That means, most of the web experience in Amazon products are not even a shadow of what Android is. Amazon is doing another Apple, just that it is using Android to do so. What works for Amazon is its media streaming options with Hulu and Netflix, as well as its book stores which are a hit anyway. Having used Android to build its tablet/mobile ecosystem, Amazon has posed a major threat to Google's own existence for mobile computing OS. Though Android continues to evolve through Sandwiches and Jelly Beans, it may have to compete with Amazon in more ways than one.

This is where an open source like Android can be a bane for companies like Google. The new Kindles for example, are using Bing as default search engine. In fact, even Google Maps has been disregarded by Amazon for its new Kindles, instead opting for Nokia Maps which would be an automatic choice for most companies. But Amazon is clearly differentiating itself from the other manufacturers. So it is a deliberate effort by Amazon to distance itself from being just another Google Android experience, and wants to not give Android an advantage through its many users. If Amazon's users consume an Android experience outright through its tablets, Google would become an even bigger presence.

Imagine what Google could do to Amazon. Google has launched Nexus 7 tablet, acquired Motorola, and has Android going great for it. Coupled with Google books and its Apps, it can potentially eat into Amazon's revenues eventually. So a real competitor threat for Amazon. Amazon has been very smart in using Android against Google, and could well be a master stroke. Time for Google to think how to put some clamps on Android being used. Well, that can't be the case when you support open source. Android is open, and it certainly has opened a world of opportunities for Amazon. And Amazon is making full use of it.