Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet doesn't have native Google apps, angering some would-be users. And Apple doesn't want them to use a certain marketing term.
First, the Google problem: While Amazon allows third-party apps on the new Fire, it doesn't allow Google apps requiring a login, writes Greg Knieriemen for The Register. In an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Knieriemen says it just doesn't make sense (and claims enough buyer's remorse to trade the tablet back in for a gift card!).
Maybe there are strategic business reasons to block Google apps but if I could side-load and run the Nook app on the Kindle Fire, surely I’d be able to run an app like Gmail that was not competitive to Amazon. Other competitive services like Netflix and Hulu are directly available on the Amazon App Store.
It's not hurting sales yet. 6 million Kindle Fires have shipped, the company said this week. And Forbes adds to the recent spate of good press for the Fire. Reason number one it'll take off: software developers are coming.
But where will those developers sell their wares? That leads us to the Apple problem:
The wizards of Cupertino have noticed that Amazon is offering an "App Store." They recognize that name, and are not amused, reports PC World.
Apple believes it owns the words "App Store" and no one else should be using it to sell apps on the Internet. So it filed a lawsuit in March to block Amazon from calling its online outlet the "Amazon Appstore for Android."
As in its other lawsuits, Apple tried to stop the immediate use of "Appstore" by Amazon by requesting a preliminary injunction. That request was rejected by the federal district court judge in the case, Phyllis Hamilton, who wasn't sold by Apple that Amazon was "diluting" the App Store trademark with its Appstore.
While the lawsuit winds through the legal process, Amazon decided to tweak Apple's nose again about the name of its Android app store. When Amazon began marketing the Fire, it dropped the "for Android" entirely from its app store title. That move was calculated to befuddle consumers, Apple argues.
"Beginning in or about September 2011 Amazon began altering its use of the infringing mark by omitting or de-emphasizing the use of the 'for Android' suffix to the “Amazon Appstore” phrase," said an amended complaint (PDF) filed this week in the case by Apple.
Apple is seeking an injunction against that use of the term "app store," arguing customers could be deceived by the similarity.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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