Remember before the original Kindle Fire was announced, back when some pundits thought it may see the end of Android? They thought that Amazon customising the Android operating system as it was rumoured to do (and in fact, did) would not only irretrievably fork Android, but cause massive splits? Well, that didn’t happen. The Kindle Fire was probably not the most revolutionary tablet — in fact it didn’t really make a splash in Australia at all — but it probably did do a little for the Android tablet market by giving it a bit more mass-market awareness.
Bloggers at the time were upset that Amazon were feeding off – read: profiting from – Google’s hard work. Well, Amazon doesn’t really make any secret that this is exactly what it was doing. Recently, following the launch of the new Kindle Fire HD last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spoke with AllThingsD on the topic of Amazon’s use of Android:
“We treat Android like Linux, and so it’s a base OS layer,” Bezos told AllThingsD in an interview on Thursday. “We have a large dedicated team that customizes Android and that’s what you see on the Kindle Fire.”
Simply put, if the Kindle Fire does well, then Android does well. It may not be as popular or successful as the Nexus 7 (when you consider how the Nexus 7 3G will probably go). Android’s openness isn’t a weakness — in fact, it was Google’s idea from the very beginning that Android would be taken, used, modified, and released, because no matter how Android is used, the benefit is to Android – and us – as a whole.