Not that this is shocking news, but reports started coming out over the weekend that the new generation of Kindle Fires will indeed have a locked boot loader. Amazon has a vested interest in keeping the new Fire HD series locked down tight, thanks in part to the Lockscreen Ads and the ad buyout policy and to also keep users from replacing Bing as the default search engine. This deterrent won’t last long, as one thing the Android community loves is a challenge.
We all know that this is not the end of things. Developers will likely find ways around the lock similar to the tricks used to unlock the original Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet. From my look around the forums involved with the device and knowing the demand for these devices will be large, I do not foresee this becoming more than a temporary roadblock.
Amazon is selling these devices at nearly a loss relying on lockscreen ads and their own content working through the device to make money. It is probably in their own interest to provide these hurdles and to go to the highest bidder for the default search engine. The debate now would seem to be if we fault Amazon for using Android in this way, or is this the purpose of Android from its beginning. Google has stated many times when the first versions of Android were pushed out that they saw it running on a variety of devices.
The locked boot loader and lack of acknowledgement from Amazon that the underlying OS is Android leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I’m passing on these devices in favor of my Nexus 7. However, these devices are powerful and the upgrades are significant. Amazon also stands to continue to control a large amount of the Android tablet market share. I wanted to open it up to our readers to discuss Amazon’s moves and if they are looking to buy the second generation 7 inch device or look at getting the new 8.9 inch device. Does a locked bootloader on a Binged-up device make it totally undesirable, of is it still on your Christmas / Hanukkah / Festivus list?]]>