Taking it up in notch in its tablet war with Barnes and Noble, Amazon announced Wednesday that it will have “several thousand” apps coming for the Kindle Fire’s launch next week.

The apps will include access to Netflix, a selling point that Barnes and Noble highlighted with its launch of the Nook Tablet earlier this week.

Other apps available through Amazon’s curated version of the Android market will include Facebook, Pandora (also a Nook partner), Rovio, PopCap, Zynga and Gameloft, all powerhouses for mobile consumption.

In a press statement, Kindle vice president Dave Limp said that the new apps were “only the beginning -- we’re adding more apps and games every day across all categories.”

The Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet are set to compete head-on for consumers looking for cheaper tablets that focus on reading. At $199, the Kindle Fire has the price advantage, though the Nook has more memory and has been designed with a more reader-friendly screen. On the other hand, the Fire is aimed at being more of an all-in-one device for mobile media, providing access to Amazon’s extensive retail ecosystem.

A new report from ChangeWave Research, Boy Genius Report shared, has found that demand for the Kindle Fire slightly outstrips the demand the company measured for the iPad 2 ahead of its 2010 launch: Five percent of customer said they were “very likely” to buy the Fire, compared with 4 percent of folks who said the same about iPad 2. Analysts have said that the Fire is not likely to be a major threat to the iPad, because the Amazon tablet going after the low end of the market. The iPad is more of a high-end device.

But as Amazon offers more services to its tablet owners, Apple may want to take a look in its rearview mirror.

Related stories:

Barnes and Noble introduces Nook Tablet

The Verge: Nook Tablet goes head-to-head with Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire a hit with analysts, though most say it’s no iPad killer