Although Amazon's upcoming Kindle Fire runs Android, it has been customized to be more of a dedicated client for their various services than an all-purpose tablet. It even has a custom web browser which uses an Amazon service to speed page load times.
According to VentureBeat, "a well placed source" told them Amazon is negotiating buy Palm from HP.
HP bought Palm in 2010, hoping to use their WebOS mobile operating system as the basis for smartphones and tablets. After a half hearted attempt to continue developing Palm's phone business, they launched the TouchPad tablet this July.
After less than two months, facing poor sales and complaints from retailers, HP decided to get out of the mobile device business entirely.
Palm's assets seem like a much better fit for Amazon than HP. Unlike HP, Amazon isn't concerned with turning a profit from hardware sales.
Instead, their interest is in getting clients for their web-based services, including their e-bookstore and streaming video service, in the hands of consumers.
One of the problems HP faced with WebOS was a lack of apps and developers. For Amazon that's arguably an advantage. As long as they are taking a loss on their tablets, as they appear to be with the Kindle Fire, it's imperative that consumers use them with Amazon services.
A lack of apps makes it more likely their customers will be buying an Amazon tablet specifically for that purpose. That, in turn seems to clear the way for Amazon to start selling larger tablets without worrying that they are subsidizing Netflix or Hulu clients.
Locking buyers into Amazon services also seems like a good strategy for avoiding Apple patent lawsuits. Apple is more likely to see a general purpose tablet as a competitive threat than a dedicated Amazon client.
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 30 Sep 2011 16:40