Amazon Android Phone a Really Good/Bad Idea
Amazon, apparently buoyed by the positive response to its new Kindle Fire, may be looking to add an Android smartphone to its product lineup. If true, it could be a a big hit or a huge mistake. The answer you get depends entirely upon whom you ask.
According to Mark Mahaney, an analyst with Citigroup, Amazon is working on a smartphone that will hit the market in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Instead of the revolutionary product envisioned by Steve Jobs in the development of the first iPhone, the new Amazon smartphone, according to an article on the InformationWeek website, will be "something akin to a store-branded credit card, a tool more focused on customer loyalty than on customer delight and amazement."
If it really wants to create something special, Amazon might think in terms of creating its own phone network (another Steve Jobs idea) and offer mobile plans at price points well below what’s standard on the market. "The next great smartphone," according to InformationWeek, "will be the one that transforms the network and its cost structure."
While the Kindle Fire generally gets positive marks for being positioned in an open area between plain e-readers and Apple’s iPad, there is some question as to whether an Amazon smartphone will find a similar open space in its category.
A Fast Company article suggests that an Amazon phone might not find an open niche, but could certainly grab rapid share in the $100 to $199 market by "leveraging Amazon’s ecosystem and its cloud services."
Another possibility is that Amazon could sell its new phone at a loss, a la the Kindle Fire, at a price below $100. "The entry of a rich-content Amazon phone would shake the market up dramatically, likely stealing big chunks of the low-price market," according to Fast Company.
- Amazon KindlePhone for 2012? – AllThingsD
- Amazon Kindle Phone: Android Me-Too Could Flop – Informationweek
- Amazon’s Fire Kindles A Phone Rumor, Shoots A Missile Into The Smartphone Cold War – Fast Company
Discussion Questions: What would an Amazon smartphone have to deliver to be a success? Do you see the company, as suggested in one article, starting its own phone network?