Wall Street Journal Releases Kindle Fire-Only App

Add the Wall Street Journal to the list of publishers releasing apps exclusively for the Kindle Fire.

The Wall Street Journal (NSDQ: NWS) app is free in the Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Appstore. Users can purchase a WSJ digital subscription for $17.99 per month from within the app, which includes access to WSJ.com and all WSJ smartphone and tablet apps.

Condé Nast and the Weather Channel created Fire-specific apps for the device’s launch. And Amazon author Tim Ferriss released a Fire-only app to promote his upcoming book The Four-Hour Chef (though he says iOS and Android versions are coming).

Our mobile editor, Tom Krazit, argued last month that the Kindle Fire may create a fragmentation problem for Android, as developers focus their attention on creating Fire-exclusive apps rather than apps for other Android tablets. The Kindle Fire runs a forked version of Android that other tablets do not use. While apps designed for it may run on other Android tablets, they are designed for the Fire’s 7-inch screen and won’t look the same elsewhere.

Since the Kindle Fire already appears to be the second bestselling tablet after the iPad–and since, unlike iTunes, it allows in-app purchases–we’re likely to see publishers release more Fire-specific apps in coming months. They may delay apps for newer versions of Android, or simply decide that they aren’t worth it.