Amazon announced their new Kindle Fire yesterday, a highly customized Android tablet. It features a TI OMAP 4 dual core processor operating at 1.2GHz, with 512MB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, 7 inch touchscreen, and the Amazon Silk Browser. The most enticing part of the package is the $199 price point, well below what other Honeycomb tablets are selling for. So what’s to stop someone from buying the tablet, and removing Amazon’s custom software in favor of a stock Android or other customized ROM? In an interview with PC Mag yesterday, Jon Jenkins, director of Amazon’s Silk browser project was asked about rooting the Kindle Fire:
“It’s going to get rooted, and what you do after you root it is up to you,”
He said he didn’t know whether or not the bootloader was locked, so at least one hurdle may remain for those wishing to customize the $199 tablet. But at the very least Amazon will not actively be attempting to stop users from rooting their devices like other manufacturers have done in the past. Sideloading of APKs will be enabled, allowing users to load apps from sources other than the Amazon AppStore, but it will not include the official Google Market. Although Amazon has not ruled out the possibility. One of Amazon’s PR reps was asked about the Market and gave the following answers:
Q: Is it just going to be Amazon App Store or will there be stock Android App Store [Android Marketplace] as well?
A: Today it’s just he Amazon App Store – we’ll certainly talk to Google – if they’re interested – we’ll certainly talk to them.
Q: You’re doing browsing, can’t you [access] the Android Market that way?
A: Well no, because Google requires that you authenticate the device with their DRM and we don’t have their DRM on the device at this point.