The last few days have been huge for Amazon as they announce their new Kindle Fire and its 10-inch counterpart coming very soon. In addition to that, Bloomberg posted that Amazon going to make a move into the mobile market with a smartphone that will be able to compete with the iPhone and Android phones on the market. This is a big deal for a company that just 12 months ago was known largely for books, garments, and small appliance deliveries.
Foxconn and Amazon
Apparently Amazon is working with Foxconn, Apples supplier for iPhones and iPads, to create this smartphone. There is no statement from Bloomberg as the release dates and such on the phone.
Amazon and Smartphones
A smartphone from Amazon will fit into the current ecosystem that they have created perfectly. A device that people will carry around with them everywhere with a digital storefront of books, music, movies, and TV shows would be the perfect object to capitalize on impulse buys. The Kindle Fire dragging in large amounts of sales, but you don’t always take it with you. A smartphone would be on you at all times and create an easy portal into the Amazon store. The basic fact is that the great content environment that Amazon has should not be underestimated.
If you didn’t believe it already, here is something to show you that this is all real. A post on Gigaom reports that Amazon has bought UpNext, a 3D mapping startup. This is a big step for Amazon who doesn’t have mapping yet for their phone.
The Kindle Fire was a brilliant device that undercut the iPad’s pricing making it affordable to all. It also has proven to be great for content and to some it goes beyond Apple’s own collection. This is great for a 7-inch tab, but on a smartphone the priorities are a little different. People look for efficiency and Amazon simply does not have experience in that field. There is much that Amazon will need to compete such as a navigation service, calendar apps, alarms, reminders, high quality camera and functions, and maybe even a virtual assistant like Apple’s Siri. These are features that they will need to compete with the mobile giant. UpNext is a great start but can they get what they need to get there?
If the Amazon smartphone follows a similar pattern as the Kindle Fire and its ilk then it will be sold at a severely undercut price. This could be a very large boon to the company as with their other devices; they would rely on their phenomenal content to create profit. This could be brilliant if they choose to offer cheap, off contract smartphones similarly to the Kindle Fire.
Another strike against Amazon is that they simply don’t have the amount of funds that their competitors will such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google. These giants have large accounts just for the purpose of battling it out with each other. Amazon however does not have this. There is something to be said for their well-traveled store and the large amount of credit cards making purchases every day.
In my opinion I would love to see an Amazon phone. I already use the Kindle app with my first generation Kindle to read and view my collection of over 300 books. For me having my movies, videos, and TV shows all in the same device as my books would be huge. I can’t say for sure how I think this venture will end up, but it is my hope that Amazon sees some success. Do they have what it takes to beat out Apple? No one has yet, but if there is anything I’ve learned it’s to not discount the underdog. Could Amazon potentially get there with the content that they have.
In the end this idea has the potential to get there and many are anxiously waiting to see how it all unfolds. Amazon has been making very strong and pointed moves to take on Apple specifically. Their new 10-inch tablet and now the smartphone are really going to be the deciding factor. The Kindle Fire makes money and I don’t see the Google Nexus 7 killing them. It will definitely be interesting to watch and see how this all unwinds.