To the degree that apps have become the measure of a mobile device’s popularity and promise, the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle is in trouble. The platform has seen only a trickle of new apps and that doesn’t seem to be changing.If Amazon wants the Kindle to break out of its box and ultimately compete with the Apple (AAPL) iPad and other tablets, it will have to address the lack of third party applications. And yet, this will be tougher than simply recruiting development partners. Amazon has locked itself into a box, and getting out of it will be a tough proposition.
Before I dismember him, I want to point out that he did make 1 valid point; Amazon don't have a visible app category in the Kindle Store. Admittedly, there isn't much to put in the category yet, but it still needs to be listed.
Where to begin?
First, people who want smartphones get smartphones. Ditto for tablets. Poeple who get a Kindle like to read, and no tablet or smartphone can match the experience of the Kindle in that one activity.
Second, given the price drop, it's now possible to get an ereader as well as another gadget (assuming you have the money). And if your funds are limited, the Kindle is still better than any comparable tablet and cheaper to operate than any smartphone.
Third, the principle competitors to the Kindle (iOS and Android) already have Kindle apps. Since you can share your ebooks across both devices this makes them complimentary, not competition.
Fourth, the Kindle as it is currently designed won't work well with most apps. Now the Kindle Tablet, assuming it exists, will need apps. (But IMO it already exists; any Android tablet fits the bill.)
That last is the killer, IMO. You can't just throw apps on to the Kindle willy-nilly. We've already seen a few apps that aren't going to work well on the Kindle (Mah-Jong, for example), and I'm beginning to get the impression that Amazon are filtering out the worst app ideas.
BTW, if apps are so important then why doesn't this article mention the B&N Nook? Surely, it's in the dire same position as the Kindle. The fact that the BNet article doesn't mention the Nook is probably a sign that the author shares the Kindle myopia common to tech bloggers.