As expected, Amazon went ahead and launched their tablet entrant earlier this week. And while the Kindle Fire ($199) isn’t some mythical dual-screen affair, the 7″ Android-based slate is a unified portal into Amazon’s online content services — including video streaming, MP3 playback, and of course e-books and digital periodicals. All which makes me wonder if Amazon is done supporting other mobile platforms. After all, we’ve never been offered Amazon Instant Video on a tablet or mobile phone. Combined with a similar lack of Amazon MP3 support and the new web-based Kindle Cloud reader, one might assume dedicated iOS apps are a thing of the past.
Several theorize that Amazon will likely lose money on each tablet sold. Yet the expectation is that they’ll ultimately recoup any subsidy as the Kindle Fire effectively markets the Amazon.com storefront to each and every owner (well, every owner who abstains from rooting the Fire). Based on that thought process, emphasizing Amazon’s primary business of reselling physical and digital goods, instead of limiting app development on competing mobile devices, I’d think Amazon would continue to extend their footprint – as they’ve done with Kindle e-reading apps on numerous platforms. The question is, would the Kindle software experience expand to encompass movies and music or would Amazon launch dedicated “players” for each discrete form of media?