Amazon Finally Set to Launch Smartphone

by Matt Klassen on June 18, 2014

Amazon is holding a press event later today where the online retailer is expected to announce the latest arm of its ever-expanding empire, an Amazon-branded smartphone. While rumours of such a device have been floating around the tech world for years now, it looks like they’re about to finally come true, leaving analysts little time to speculate about which direction Amazon will take on its mobile journey.

While the e-commerce giant will be a newcomer to the ultra-competitive smartphone market, Amazon is no stranger to the tech market as a whole. “Amazon has already seen some success in the tablet space (with Fire HD and HDX) as well as the home entertainment space (with Fire TV),” Todd Day, senior mobile and wireless industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, told the E-Commerce Times. “The smartphone is the most mobile device, which makes it the most-used device. The next logical step for Amazon is to provide a smartphone that will help enable access to Amazon’s content.”

But again many are wondering exactly what kind of device Amazon will launch: will it sport some sort of gimmicky 3D technology, will it attempt to compete with high end smartphone incumbents Apple and Samsung, will it do what all other Amazon-branded products were created to do, sell other Amazon products?

As mentioned, this won’t be Amazon’s first experience in the hardware market, as the company already has its popular Kindle e-readers, its Kindle Fire tablet, and more recently, its Fire TV streaming video box, an increasingly popular product indeed because of Amazon’s competitive catalogue of video offerings.

For many the thought of an Amazon smartphone is simply the last piece of the puzzle for the online retail giant, its inevitable foray into the last untapped corner of the tech world. But still there are questions being raised around Amazon’s smartphone strategy, as rumours have long said that such a smartphone will sport 3D technology.

While such news may sound like cutting edge innovation from a company known for pushing boundaries, the reality is that 3D smartphones have been tried before, you’ve just never heard about them because they’ve faded away so quickly. “3D wouldn’t really be anything more that a marketing tool. While many customers aren’t necessarily looking for 3D, the fact that it is a ‘better’ device with ‘more’ features will help as a selling point.” Frost’s Day said.

But Amazon doesn’t strike me as one prone to cheap gimmicks or pointless features, unless of course such technology does the one thing that Amazon is prone to do, that is, provide better access to its products and services. If 3D technology could be employed to make the smartphone a better platform for online shopping, well that could actually be a game changer in the current mobile space.

“Amazon is nothing if not one of the greatest online retailers. Shopping on a smartphone is difficult: You don’t have a lot of real estate. You don’t have a lot of space, but if you can show people almost in 3D what you can do with this, that would be pretty neat. But I have to rein my enthusiasm back because that’s a lot of content you have to put through the 3D machine in order to offer it,” Ramon Llamas, mobile phones research manager at IDC, told the E-Commerce Times.

The one good thing, after years of speculation and rumour we won’t have to wait long to find out exactly what Amazon has planned for the smartphone market.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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