With Amazon’s event set to kick off in just a few hours, we’ve got word that their AppStore has pass the 50,000 app milestone. Launched back in March of last year, or 18 months ago, Amazon has managed to convince Devs to release apps made for specifically for their store and in some cases nabbing time-based exclusives, like Plants vs. Zombies. Because they now had their own AppStore, when Amazon launched their Kindle Fire tablet last year, it launched with their own ecosystem, not unlike Apple, as Amazon had cloud storage, a music store, Amazon Prime, a massive bookstore and now its own AppStore for applications and games.
Now as we’re on the verge of Amazon’s press event, we are hearing rumors that Amazon may unveil a new smartphone. Some experts are questioning Amazon’s motives, unlike the Kindle Fire which launch in a very barren landscape of 7-inch tablets, smartphones are available in abundance, especially Android power models. Despite the fact that Amazon uses Android for its Kindle Fire and will presumably use it for a smartphone, the OS is so heavily skinned and modified, that it’s basically a different OS. It’s not compatible with any of Google’s apps or the Google Play Store. Which means, that when Amazon launches a Kindle smartphone, it will be stuck with only its apps, some of which may not be smartphone compatible, either way, it would be launch with 50,000 or fewer apps. To put this into perspective, Windows Phone which features over 100,000 apps, can’t even grab 5% of the smartphone market.
Amazon hit a niche with the Kindle Fire, people wanted a color e-reader with some extra features and the price was perfect. A smartphone will be a whole new animal as they now will be going up against Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony, ZTE, Pantech, Casio, and even RIM, all who either have their own strong ecosystem like Apple, Windows Phone and RIM, or they use Google’s. The competition will be fierce and cut throat and unless Amazon can find its niche, it may be game over, before the game even starts.