Rumours are becoming ever stronger that Amazon will be releasing a Smartphone towards the end of the year.
As we’ve already seen with the Kindle, Amazon has offered free 3G to download books and search the web (however the latter has since been capped), and as it uses the same signal technology as smartphones the prospect of a handset that could make free 3G phone calls could have potential. It might not be as straightforward as that of course, but having already established a relationship with local network providers through its 3G Kindle service, there is every possibility the same could be done for a phone.
If there’s one thing that Amazon definitely has covered it’s content. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made an interesting comment in his Kindle and Kindle Fire HD press conference last year referring to the company’s Android tablet as more of a ‘service’ than a ‘gadget’ and that perhaps has a lot to do with its pretty comprehensive content ecosystem. Having recently added audio books to its library of movies, songs, apps, games, books and more, an Amazon smartphone could have the kind of media consuming credentials to rival the iPhone, Android smartphones and Windows Phone 8 handsets.
If rumours from earlier are to be believed, Amazon has been working with Apple supplier Foxconn to help bring its smartphone to life. Further reports suggest it’s trying to cover its back by picking up the appropriate patents relating to wireless technologies to ensure they don’t have a ‘Apple V Samsung’ type courtroom battle on their hands.
Just as Amazon have been able to place an affordable price on the original Kindle Fire and the new Kindle Fire HD, the same could similarly be applied to a phone with the emphasis to make money from content available through the device which as we have mentioned above is already quite expansive. Amazon’s online shopping expertise could also come in handy if it pushed the idea of an intuitive and secure mobile shopping experience.
It’s one thing having all of this content, and being able to sell it all at a wallet-friendly price, but convincing users to swap their Samsung, HTC, iPhone etc for an Amazon smartphone won’t be easy. Amazon will surely have to come up with something more inspirational and sexy in the design department judging from its existing tablet offerings. Just as long as it doesn’t ‘borrow’ any of those Apple curves