Three Reasons Why an Android-powered Amazon Color Kindle Makes Sense

Betanews’ Joe Wilcox asks:

Who will pay $600 for XOOM with WiFi?

That’s a good question. The WiFi-only Xoom will be available on March 27 and I’m tempted to raise my hand with a “yes” answer. However, I just spent a bundle on a iPad 2 64GB Verizon 3G model (I really wanted to 32GB WiFi-only model, btw). As an ordinary consumer, the answer is no I do not. And, that’s the answer the estimated 1 million people who bought an iPad in the last week probably have too. On the other hand, as a mobile technology enthusiast and blogger, I do want an Android OS 3.0 based tablet. One of the people quoted in Joe’s blog item said: I have a hard time thinking about $600 when my Nook only cost $249 and took me 10 minutes to root. The Nook referred to is the Android powered Barnes & Nobile color Nook that can be rooted and outfited with Android OS 3.0 reasonably simply and painlessly. The OS 3.0 resides on an SD card. So, returning to the original platform requires removing the card and rebooting.

That brings us to this item in the New York Times:

Is Amazon Working on an Android Kindle?

Now this is an interesting piece of speculation based on job listings at Amazon. This would make a lof sense for Amazon for a number of reasons:

1. It looks like Apple is going to play hardball in requiring in-app purchases. This might affect Amazon’s iOS Kindle app or even result in having it pulled from the iTunes App Store.

2. Although the black and white Kindle is much more readable than any color display I’ve seen (including the color Nook), Amazon needs a color display story for the Kindle. If nothing else, they need it for childrens’ books, technical documentation, and maybe even graphics novels which all require color.

3. Amazon will open the doors for its Android app store soon. It would make sense to have an Android-based color Kindle for which Amazon’s customers could buy both ebooks and Android apps.

An Android powered color Kindle probably won’t appear for months and maybe even a year. But, if it priced competitively ($199 or $250), it could change the face of the Android tablet marketplace.