Op-Ed: Why Is The Nook A Nook But The Kindle Fire Is An Android Tablet?

Posted on Sep 29 2011 - 4:59am by Kyle

Sitting back watching the news reports about the upcoming Kindle Fire from Amazon has made me really question why is the Nook a Nook and the Kindle Fire an Android tablet.

Truth be told the Nook most likely has a newer and more accessible version of Android than the Kindle Fire does. Updated: The Nook Color runs Android 2.2 whereas the Kindle Fire runs Android 2.3 (After this was written more details came out regarding the base version of Android – ed.) The Kindle Fire is a media delivery device for all intents and purposes. Sure you can do some minor tablet tasks with it but this is clearly marketed for Amazon and a huge compliment to their ecosystem.  I’ve said several times since news of the Amazon “Android Tablet” that Amazon is the only company in the world really prepared to deliver what they want.

Sure the Amazon Kindle Fire has a better internal processor than the Nook Color but Amazon is being mum on what version of Android they reverse engineered to create the experience.  We’re also sure that the Kindle Fire will be rooted, almost immediately, but didn’t the same thing happen with the Nook Color.  Yes, Android enthusiasts around the world know that the Nook Color is in fact an Android tablet and the Kindle Fire is also an Android tablet but the mainstream tech media is calling the Kindle Fire an Android tablet where as the Nook was just the Nook.

More after the break

Amazon themselves didn’t even come up with some flashy new “tablet” type name for the Kindle Fire, they are calling it the Kindle Fire because it’s the next carnation of the Kindle. Basically you have basic Kindle, medium Kindle and Whoaaaa Kindle in the Kindle Fire.  What’s contributing to this is the armchair quarterbacks who have already taken to reducing the devices given name from Kindle Fire to just Fire? We could see this if it was the Amazon Fire but it’s the Amazon Kindle Fire, again it’s the next advancement in Kindle.

Please don’t misinterpret this little post here. I love the Kindle Fire. I will probably buy one. I am a staunch Amazon user and use Amazon’s app market even more than the Android Market (I just like to be able to find apps).  Not to beat a dead horse or anything but what sets the Kindle Fire apart from any other device of it’s kind is how ready Amazon is to actually deliver on the content side.  There was an analyst report late Wednesday that suggested Amazon is going to take a $50 loss on every single Kindle Fire, but will make double that in content.

Obviously in my field I get into a lot of heated Android discussions, probably multiple times daily especially when traveling.  One thing that I’m always preaching, especially if you’ve had this talk with me in person, is that Android enthusiasts almost always forget why Android is so successful.  Android is so successful in part due to variety.

Picture this, say a company decided to make a smartphone for senior citizens. One where they could download books, pictures, take pictures, access the web, with giant buttons, easy to use short cuts, and specialized apps, etc. Now say they did this building it on an old version of Android with a custom user interface and nothing that ever said the word Android except for the media. Well first things first, all the Android fans are going to start screaming it’s an Android device, then root it.  Then they’re going to say it sucks. Well guess what it’s not for you, it’s not for me either it’s for senior citizens.

This issue is the reason I think (well hope) that the HTC Rhyme will be so successful. In the case of the Rhyme HTC put their Android enthusiast blinders on and really created a device with the consumer in mind.  The Rhyme is not for you, or me it’s for the consumer. If you happen to like it that’s great.

Everyone has different tastes and sometimes I don’t necessarily stand inline with the Android community. I love Android in a lot of different flavors. That’s again what makes it so special.

So again I ask.. Why is the Nook a Nook but the Kindle Fire is an Android Tablet? Care to comment?

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  • http://www.techknots.com/ Apurva Chaudhary

    Wondering if my comment will also have a strike in it

  • Allan Mosher

    my guess is because the Nook doesnt really market itself as an android tablet (well B&N), they chose the open android platform to build on but using the Nook more as their brand.  Amazon is more meshing on this point, they are at once using the success of android AND the success of their own kindle brand to market this thing and i think its going to work.  not for me personally because i’m not that hooked into amazons eco-system, and sure, it will get rooted but this is not an android enthusiasts choice, its for the consumer and i think a well targeted device in that respect.