Since android has been made open source for all the users many firms are using it as an opportunity to change the user interface of the android or apply their custom skin on top of the Android OS which helps it to be different than other manufacturers android.
The process of applying skin on top of the android and completely making the android experience different is called forking. This is an interesting business strategy that many businesses adopted in order for their device to be unique from among the hundreds of android devices in the market.
Amazon went with the strategy of android forking which helped their device Kindle Fire to unique in the market. In this post we will take a look at why the android forking strategy might work and how different business reacts to this strategy.
1. Price Of The Forked Devices
Amazon released their device Kindle Fire at an amazingly low price for just $200 and at that time no other tablet was available with that price point in the market. Not only that the UI of the Kindle was remarkable different and made it popular among low budget tablet enthusiast.
As a result of the low price the tablet attracted lot of consumers which helped to cover up loses Amazon was making from selling their tablet.
In the smartphone market there are already many budget oriented phones available that many consumers willingly go for. But the low cost tablet market is clearly dominated by Kindle. But soon Google will be launching its own low cost Nexus tablet which is aimed at the low cost market but other OEMs have difficulty in this segment of market since low cost means giving up on profits.
The reason Kindle Fire became so popular was that along with the low price of the tablet Amazon made sure to make an amazing library of contents available to the users. This is a huge driving point which enables a manufacturer to sell many of their low cost tablets.
The content on Amazon isn’t that great but it is acceptable because these are the stuff that is looked for by majority of the consumers.
The amazon app store has over 31,000 apps while Google Play store has almost over 450,000 apps and which run pretty well on 7inch tablets. But still why Kindle user has grown because Amazon was quick enough to offer its users the apps that users most want along with a rich collection of media.
Now forking in tablet would require that every other OEM would have to come up with their own App store but often this leads to failure because there are either not much apps available for the consumers or the consumer isn’t happy with the content that is available in the app store.
Now after reading so far we see that the Amazon has been really successful with their Kindle Fire. So why can’t other OEMs replicate the business strategy of Amazon? Because forking android tablet or smartphone means you have stepped away from the open source nature of the OS and are in your own area now.
To attract more consumers you need a separate app store which offers ample content and especially the content the users are looking for. Then only an OEM will be successful.
So what do you think? Will android forking be successful or not and whether OEM should go the way of forking android.