Vega sounds like one of the most significant shifts in Amazon’s consumer hardware ambitions since the catastrophic failure of its Fire Phone. Currently, Amazon relies on the free Android Open Source Project model, which serves as the foundation for Fire OS. However, Amazon doesn’t ship any of the core Google/Android services, such as the Play Store and Gmail, to avoid licensing fees on its Fire series of devices.
With Android completely out of the picture with Vega, Amazon will have even more control over the software and apps it wants to ship on its future device portfolio. However, convincing developers to sign up for its vision won’t be easy for Amazon.
The failure of Windows Phone and the slow death of Tizen OS at Samsung are recent examples. Amazon has reportedly asked developers to use React Native as an application framework, allowing them to build apps for Vega and Android-based Fire hardware without much toiling.
But when it comes to customers, especially those with Android-derived Fire hardware in their homes, Amazon’s Vega approach is not good news. Amazon could take the honorable route and support them for at least the next few years before it goes all-in on Vega-based devices. Alternatively, it could silently migrate a select bunch of them to Vega, as Google has been doing with its Fuschia push, but that’s easier said than done.