Originally Posted by WillysJeepMan
Amazon had doubled-down on the lockdown of the Kindle Fire line, and it is the right decision for them at this time, but B&N could take a contrarian approach to differentiate itself.
Amazon's lock-down isn't much of a lockdown, you know; the setting to enable sideloading of apps is readily available in the settings. They simply ship the Fire with the setting at "no", the same way as most phones.
Think of it as a "social" lockdown; they don't promote the feature but it is there for anybody who wants it. All you have to do is scan the settings page.
As for the contrarian approach, well Kobo is doing that with the Arc.
Note that it was only after Amazon launched its appstore and captured a significant share of Android app revenue (their store is open to all comers, phone and tablet) that Google revamped and started actively licensing its store. Amazon's store went from nothing to a threat to Google in mere months, even before the Fire launched.
The big difference between the Amazon appstore and the B&N store is the B&N store only serves B&N hardware whereas Amazon's store serves anybody and everybody willing to give them money. That right there puts them way ahead in software developers priorities.
As I said above: each product needs justify itself separately rather than relying on other parts of the business, which is how Amazon, Apple, and even Google do. B&N relies too much on the stores to move Nook and on the hardware lockdown too much to move the content.
If the content is good enough, it'll move without lockdown, on other people's hardware as well as yours.