Is Amazon Ready to Make A Push With Android-Based Kindle? New Job Listings Suggest So


It’s been a long time since we’ve revisited the rumor about an Android-based Amazon Kindle. Those rumors were rekindled after we learned Amazon would be opening their own application store for Android, but nothing substantial has come up since.

Job postings reveal a lot, though, and Amazon’s looking to hire. They’ve posted at least five new listings this week looking for software developers with Android experience. I tried not to jump ahead of myself when reading that as I’m aware they have an Android application and any number of things is a possibility.

They could be looking to beef up their Kindle application team to produce a new version of the app for Honeycomb tablets, of course. That’s the easy way out as far as guesses go, though. Another plausible guess is that they’re stocking up on developers to make this Android-based tablet a reality.

I still believe in this rumor and for a number of different reasons – the biggest of which being that Amazon hasn’t really clearly stated their direction for the application store. We saw a glimpse of their plans when we learned users would be able to select applications to have preinstalled on Android devices bought from Amazon Wireless, but that can’t be all they’re building a store for.

Let’s take a look at some tidbits from one of these job postings:

Software Development Manager, Systems –

Lab126 is an inventive research and development company that designs and engineers high-profile, portable, hand-held consumer electronics products, like the Kindle. The products we design and engineer are easy-to-use and offer users benefits that are only made possible through tightly integrated digital technologies and wireless connectivity.

As a Software Development Manager, you will be responsible for building and managing a team to work on the next generation platform. In this role, you will work closely with the hardware team to define and productize the hardware platform for the next generation of devices. Your responsibility will range from the early bring-up of the platform to the complete productization and support of the derived products. Your role will also require managing and building a strong team who will take on this challenge. Your team must deliver very high quality and robust products while focusing extensively on power management and performance.

Here they specifically mention that the developer who fills this role will lead a team of engineers who will design high-profile and portable hand-held products, “like” the Kindle. In the text below that, they specifically note that they will be at the heart of the team who works on the “next generation of devices.” A strong fluency in Linux is a must, says the listing – Android runs on top of a Linux kernel, doesn’t it?

It’s not just that the aformentioned crop of Android-specific listings are there (pull them up in one fell swoop by searching for “Android”), it’s that they showed up on the same day of the development manager position (and several hardware-centric positions beneath whoever is lucky enough to fill that role).

Amazon’s not just adding people to their Kindle for Android team, but instead are creating an entirely new team within Lab 126 and is bringing together both software and hardware engineers for whatever these “next generation of devices” will be. Fun times ahead, Kindle fans. [via New York Times]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. That would be in their best interest. I often questioned why people would pay so much for a straight ereader.

  2. Rekindled? Oh, man…. That’s painful.

  3. Dude… I didn’t even try to do that. Scout’s honor.

  4. This would be nice. I’m waiting for proper honeycomb kindle app support. It is still usable, but i miss my multiple page support.

  5. @ Mike. For $139 I think the kindle is very reasonably priced for avid book readers considering e books are like half the price of real books.

    But I’d like to see what Amazon can do, they have a strong following of customers so as long as they can produce a decent product quickly they stand to do very well.

  6. Called it. Let’s just hope they can strip down a lot of the aspects of the OS so that the new Android-based Kindle can have days of battery life.

  7. Considering the kindle runs on a version of Linux

  8. Does a bear shit in the woods?

    They have an android app store, their video streaming works on android, what the hell do you think?

    This is like asking if there will be an iphone5 or not.

  9. I would be really surprised if they do not have an Android tablet/ebook reader in the works ready for release as soon as they open up their Android app shop, so these positions are probably for associated services and their current Android apps.

  10. Lol rekindled. ICWYDT

  11. Would be cool if it was a Xoom-like tablet but with Amazon MP3, Prime (Netflix like video service, stream and rent DVDs), Kindle, and AppStore. No thought that could rival the iPad! Why not name it the Kindle Glass?

  12. Meant to say doubt, not thought.

  13. While this all sounds good in theory, it’s hard to see how a Kindle/tablet works. The Kindle is an excellent e-reader in part because it’s B&W. I assume that any “android tablet” needs a color display to be viable but color will negate some of the advantages of the original Kindle as an e-reader.

    If Amazon does produce a combo unit, I hope they will do it along the lines of the nookColor, i.e., e-reader and android sufficiently separate that android can be rooted without affecting the e-reader functions.

  14. Yep, Android and a Linux requirement for this position make sense. However, the Kindle software already on the device has a Linux kernel, doesn’t it?

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