Amazon has surprised users with the news that it is opening up the Kindle Fire cut-price tablet to other content providers, starting with Wattpad.
Sold at a bargain-basement price, the Android-powered Kindle Fire tablet links in to Amazon's cloud-based storefronts to provide apps, eBooks, music and films; with Amazon taking the lion's share of each transaction.
It's hardly the first time such 'razorblade marketing' has been associated with mobile devices, but it is a move which has its detractors: those used to more open Android tablets complain about the locked-down nature of Amazon's budget offering.
That could be due to change, however: Wattpad, a company which produces a rival eBook reader package for Android devices, has convinced Amazon to allow its software onto the Kindle Fire in a move which will likely see other content providers targeting the platform in due course.
"Over the past couple of weeks we've spoken with representatives at the Kindle Fire Store, first over email and then eventually with some phone calls up to the higher levels, convincing them that we're actually a valuable complementary service," a spokesperson for Wattpad told VentureBeat of the move. "Our community is super engaged readers and writers; they are passionate book lovers and eventually Amazon came around to see the value we could bring."
Amazon's volte-face comes as the company releases a software update which removes root access from devices that have previously been modified to allow installation of non-Amazon approved third-party software.