The release of the Kindle Fire has many pointing to Amazon’s vision for the tablet as a breakthrough. After all, with it’s low price, curated approach to the crowded world of Android apps and a content-first approach, it looks like someone finally got an Android tablet right.
Amazon has become a true hardware player in the tablet space, yet keeping its center of gravity in the content and digital goods marketplace.
So what’s more interesting with the Fire is […] where the Fire leaves Google. After all, the Fire is Amazon’s audacious attempt to introduce another tablet upon Google’s platform, while taking away many of the advantages that Google has gained through investing in the Android platform.
What do I mean? Well, sure, technically the Fire is built upon Android, but Amazon’s curated approach will no doubt be more about Amazon than Google, which is best exemplified by the fact that Amazon puts its own browser on the device, displacing Google’s browser. By taking the browser away and giving the consumer a server-assisted browsing experience with Silk, it will be Amazon, not Google, gathering all the data about consumer purchase and social behavior.
Amazon, by changing Google’s browser in the Kindle Fire for its own one, leaves Google without a huge benefit. Collecting data is one of the ROIs for Google investing in the Android platform.
But the suggestion of buying Barns & Noble is to allow Google to really enter the content marketplace. B&N has a great expertise that Google could use on how to sell content.
The examples are numerous. The failure of Google TV. Google’s no-show in the music space despite making noise with Google Music. And finally, there’s Google eBookstore, which, from what I can tell, is even more of a non-factor than Google Music. […] Google, for all its efforts, just hasn’t done well in content sell-through. […]
Lastly, Google could also put B&N’s network of physical storefronts to good use. Sure, Google lives in the cloud almost exclusively, but as Apple has shown, it often pays to have stores where consumers can “touch the company,” and for Google this might be even more important given that it’s hard for a company that is almost all-cloud to build trust as a lifelong content partner.
It seems a good suggestion to me, to fast-forward their entry, and compete with Amazon. Will they follow it?