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Amazon announces Fire Phone with 4.7" 3D head tracking display & Firefly smart scanner, exclusive...

post #1 of 208
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Amazon announced its long awaited entrance into the smartphone market on Wednesday in unveiling the new Fire Phone, a device the retailer plans to pit against Apple's iPhone by integrating advanced head tracking technology for dynamic 3D content viewing, as well as new scanning functions that intelligently interpret data from the physical world.




The 4G LTE Amazon Fire Phone launches exclusively on U.S. carrier AT&T July 25 and starts at $649 contract-free with a 32-gigabyte capacity, or $199 with a two-year service contract. A 64-gigabyte model will also be available for $749 off-contract, or $299 with, and preorders are available now. The handset also comes with a full year of Amazon Prime for free, for both new and existing Prime subscribers.

The Fire Phone features Gorilla Glass on the front and back panels, surrounded by a rubberized frame that is said to be durable. Aluminum buttons and chamfered edges are also found on the exterior, while inside it's powered by a 2.2-gigahertz processor, Qualcomm Adreno 330 graphics processor, and 2 gigabytes of RAM. It runs a new, phone-optimized version of Amazon's Android-based mobile platform, dubbed Fire OS 3.5.

Cameras are a centerpiece of the device, featuring a 13-megapixel rear facing shooter with f/2.0 lens and optical image stabilization, along with a dedicated camera button that allows photos to be snapped instantly when pressed, regardless of whether or not the screen is on. Amazon is also including free, unlimited photo storage with the Fire Phone.




Making extensive use of the camera is Amazon's new Firefly feature, which can recognize physical media including books, movies, CDs and even pieces of art. It will also scan barcodes and QR codes, and also interpret things such as phone numbers and URLs. Firefly also listens, and can recognize music and TV shows, allowing quick access to buy content.

In one example, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos showed off how the Fire Phone would intelligently interpret a phone number even though part of the number was obscured with glare. The system used context to know that 703 is not a valid exchange for the area code 206, so the phone number's exchange must actually be 708.

The handset can also compress pictures for transferring by only sending relevant parts of the image. Using the dedicated Firefly button, the phone will automatically scan and determine what information might be of value.

Firefly also comes with a software development kit, allowing custom actions to be developed alongside the text, audio, and image recognizers. Announced partners include iHeartRadio for music scanning, MyFitnessPal for tracking nutrition on food consumed, and Vivino for tapping into wine databases.




Multiple cameras are also found on the front of the device, tracking a user's head and eyes and allowing the picture to dynamically adjust, giving the illusion of three dimensions. In one demo by Bezos, a 3D image of the Empire State Building was shown and would dynamically move as the user moved the phone.

The "Dynamic Perspective" feature on the Fire Phone can be used with maps, pictures, and when browsing content. In another demonstration, Bezos flipped through clothing by tilting the phone. Users can also tilt their phone to scroll in a Web browser or Kindle book reader, rather than touching the screen.

The system is powered by four forward facing cameras located in the four corners of the handset. This allows two cameras to track the user's head no matter how they are holding the device.




The cameras are also equipped with infrared light sensors that are invisible to the human eyes, but allow the system to work in absolutely darkness. It's also backed by advanced software that can help interpret human heads from objects that might be something else, like a statue or face on a t-shirt.

The Amazon handset also boasts dual stereo speakers and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, and it ships with magnetic earbuds featuring tangle-free flat cables. It will also tap into the Amazon Instant Video and Music services, and offers features previously available on the Kindle Fire like Second Screen and X-Ray, while content can also be pushed to Miracast devices including the Fire TV.

Also coming over from the Kindle Fire will be Amazon's "Mayday" button, which offers near-instant video technical support for users. It's available for free at all hours, and works over cellular data or Wi-Fi.
post #2 of 208
No one takes you seriously these days unless you're selling a smartphone.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #3 of 208
Dang thing is ugly as sin. Looks like its got chicken pox or something

Edit: Punctuation
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post #4 of 208
Meh..
post #5 of 208
It looks like an interesting device, would love to try one- but at the end of the day I feel like this entire phone is based on a gimmick. Not sure how much patience people will have for continually tilting and moving their phones/heads to achieve things, and if this is any more efficient or accurate than established methods for control (most likely less on both counts).

However, I applaud Amazon for doing something different, as well as pushing the envelope and taking risks. More than can be said for Android OEMs. WIll this be a success? I doubt it, but we'll see.
post #6 of 208

Now with 6 cameras including infrared... so the Android hackers can watch you undress.

post #7 of 208
Here it comes: 100's of comments about how this is crap and can't possibly be cool because Apple has already invented everything of merit in the known universe.

Two down, and many more to come.
post #8 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post

Here it comes: 100's of comments about how this is crap and can't possibly be cool because Apple has already invented everything of merit in the known universe.

Two down, and many more to come.


You can't say it LOOKs like crap since to me it looks exactly like a frigging iPhone. Clearly, no one has had a single idea since Jonny Ive in 2006.

post #9 of 208

I agree with earlier comments about it working off a gimmick.

 

However at those price points - i think its DOA - its new to the market and trying to sell on established HIGH END PHONE rates.

Thought they would try to price point like the kindle - oh well its cool to an extent but not $600+ cool to own.

post #10 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post

Here it comes: 100's of comments about how this is crap and can't possibly be cool because Apple has already invented everything of merit in the known universe.

Two down, and many more to come.

You may not like it, but history of smartphone introductions suggests that these two -- and the many more to come -- will be correct with very high probability.

post #11 of 208
I'm laughing my ass off over this. The media and chattering class were all predicting a cheap phone with some revolutionary pricing on the plan side. And in the end it's conventional pricing with AT&T normal data plans. The only thing that makes you want to bang your head against the wall is the stock being up 3% on the day. 1rolleyes.gif
post #12 of 208
Wow, that is the least necessary phone launch ever.
post #13 of 208

They may get 200,000 units per month if they are lucky. If you figure there are about 100,000,000 AT&T subscribers with about 70% on smartphones. I question if the others show interest but this might bring in late adopters.  So lets say 70,000,000 AT&T customers. I don't see this driving switchers from other carriers.

 

This is really targeted toward Prime with 10's of millions,,, so what 40,000,000 but only about 1/3 of those are on AT&T or about 13,000,000 potential AT&T Prime customers with about 70% smartphone penetration rates. So lets take it to about 9,000,000 POTENTIAL customers that would really be interested in this phone. Now given the bulk of them are on 24 month contracts you have about 380,000 customers/month that will even consider this phone. Given AT&T's heave iPhone population, I don't see much to cause a platform switch from iOS to Amazon's Androidish platform. I suspect it will appeal much more to Android users and perhaps Windows Phones users with a smaller media library built up.

 

So I put sales range between 100,000 and 200,000 per month or [s] enough to kill Apple and cause the collapse of their entire business model.[/s]

post #14 of 208
Wow, another expensive phone that you can get a discount on by agreeing to pay too much for service for two years. I wonder what the 3d feature will do as it sees you getting jerked around by AT&T.
post #15 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmb0037 View Post

Dang thing is ugly as sin. Looks like its got chicken pox or something

Edit: Punctuation
That must be a render or something. I though Bezos mentioned chamfered edges (gee I wonder where he got that idea from 1rolleyes.gif ). Anyway what ruins the look are all those sensors. Yuck. And for all the complaints of iOS 7 being too bright, this is way too dark, IMO.
post #16 of 208
A few interesting features tacked on to a truly ugly UI design. Hate the black backround and the home screen has an absurd amountof wasted space. On a phone, the carousel UI dominates the screen, meaning I don't have quick access to anything without spinning the stuipd carousel(really hate that UI paradigm). Didn't show how notifications are handled or quick settings. Who is providing maps, as that is essential to any platform now. Just too many things that look like showstoppers with this phone. Lots of Fluff, need more substance.
post #17 of 208

So it's a glorified (and expensive) version of their craptastic Kindle Fire, optimized for the only real intent of getting you to buy more stuff from Amazon.  Great.

Like all the other non-iOS offerings, it will come out with tons of fanfare, then they will realize that it's simply another example of lipstick-on-a-pig, the OS will rarely get any updates, and when it does it will not work, or be even more unstable... and then people will continue to wonder why iOS continues to be popular when there are "so many choices" in the Android world.

I give this phone six months... if that.  Bezos will, as is his usual fashion, refuse to give out unit sales and simply state that this phone will be "selling beyond what they predicted".  

Just wait...

post #18 of 208
Holy competition Batman!
...if it all works as advertised

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post #19 of 208

And the Android device space gets splintered even more.

post #20 of 208

Doesn't look all that bad. Nothing that would cause me to give up my iPhone but not too bad of a first-gen phone.

post #21 of 208
Had to get this released quickly before the big screen iPhones steal everyone's thunder.
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post #22 of 208
tt92618, I'm not going to call it crap - but I don't know how well this will work out. I don't think it's an "iPhone killer." I like the pricing - more storage for the price, plus a year of Amazon Prime (costs $99/yr now I think) I don't think it's ugly. I just think these key features are likely to get annoying. But then, some folks didn't think the internet would ever really catch on, so who knows?
post #23 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

No one takes you seriously these days unless you're selling a smartphone.

no one takes you seriously unless you control all facets of the consumer experience.

 

Amazon, Apple are the two leaders in online commerce.  Apple users 'buy' stuff.  Amazon 'sells' stuff. 

 

On Twitter last night Marc Andressen and Steven Sinofsky basically said if you are selling 100Million phones a year, you don't have to control the market... because you can control 'your' market.   The key thing is delivering a compelling experience (the BMW model).   Price is secondary if the experience is valuable to the buyer.   

post #24 of 208
They got the screen size right, at least. Can't wait for that 4.7 inch iPhone 6.
post #25 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post
 

So it's a glorified (and expensive) version of their craptastic Kindle Fire, optimized for the only real intent of getting you to buy more stuff from Amazon.  Great


I gotta disagree with you just a tad. I have a Fire and it's not a bad tablet. I primarily use mine for reading and a little light web surfing. It's certainly not on par with the iPad but all-in-all it's really not a bad little tablet.

post #26 of 208

This phone looks like it has potential to be a Samsung Galaxy killer.  I am a happy iPhone owner, but if I liked Android OS I'd take a serious look at this.  Looks good (like an iPhone) and IF the features actually work they could be fun/useful.  Not enough to get me to quit Apple's entire ecosystem (iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc etc).

 

This could be a serious fragmented of Android phones.  Plus with Samsung pushing Tizen, I think we are heading to an Apple + Everything else world.

 

If the special Amazon features work as badly as the special Galaxy S5 features (like the fingerprint and heartbeat sensor) Amazon is toast.  Can't tell of course until this is in the wild for awhile.

post #27 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

So it's a glorified (and expensive) version of their craptastic Kindle Fire, optimized for the only real intent of getting you to buy more stuff from Amazon.  Great.


Like all the other non-iOS offerings, it will come out with tons of fanfare, then they will realize that it's simply another example of lipstick-on-a-pig, the OS will rarely get any updates, and when it does it will not work, or be even more unstable... and then people will continue to wonder why iOS continues to be popular when there are "so many choices" in the Android world.


I give this phone six months... if that.  Bezos will, as is his usual fashion, refuse to give out unit sales and simply state that this phone will be "selling beyond what they predicted".  


Just wait...
How do they get developers to develop for their platform when they never announce sales or activation figures? In the presentation Bezos displayed a chart showing steady growth in Prime membership but the slide included no numbers whatsoever.
post #28 of 208

Um, yeah.

 

Yet-Another-Money-Losing-Android-Smartphone (TM). For $200, on 2 year contract, only at AT+T.

 

Apple is clearly doomed.

post #29 of 208
I think there is a Fine point between features that are actually USEFUL, and needed, VS features for the sake of marketing. I mean I'm releasing my superPhone 600 with Quantum warp screen vision, and Mind envasion pre-emptive adaptation. Oh and the SuperPhone 600 has 20 cameras............3D!!! 1smile.gif
post #30 of 208
The continuous scrolling for reading web pages/ books, etc is a pretty nice. Feature. Overall, it looks like they did a nice job on the phone. Certainly nowhere near enough to move me off my iPhone, but a nice job nonetheless. I hope Apple includes the auto-scrolling feature. It looks like a much better way to read on phones.
post #31 of 208
1) I don't mind that it has a gimmicky* feature since it has to differentiate itself and I like to at least see new ideas, especially if they are complete in scope unlike what we tend to see from Google and Samsung in their "First!" campaigns. I also don't mind that it's priced as a premium phone and may very well prove to be one in operation, but I do have an issue with the casing at least looking cheap. Perhaps it will feel like a quality device but I have my doubts.

2) If they are charging $650 for a 32GB phone I have to assume, by their history of going for break even pricing, that the tech inside if very expensive or they got a lot of crappy deals when sourcing components.

3) Notice they charge $100 for doubling capacity, not the $2.34 that certain people say it costs to double NAND because some store near them that was going out of business sold them a 32GB USB flash drive for that price


PS: How is their 'Apple TV killer" doing?



* It's a gimmick unless it can prove to be useful and seamless to the user thereby increasing the UX.
Edited by SolipsismX - 6/19/14 at 4:02pm

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post #32 of 208

PS- Did anyone else notice that sales of the Galaxy S5 are projected to miss by, like 25%?

 

But Samsung will no doubt make up for it with those profitable, profitable sales on the low end...

 

Apple is doomed....

post #33 of 208
Another "also ran" android phone...

They spent an awful lot of time and money on their "dynamic Perspective" thingy that is little more then a battery eating gimmick... just like the same on Apples phones. At least Apple didn't spend anywhere near the SW and HW $'s on something people are going to turn off after 30sec of use.
post #34 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post

Here it comes: 100's of comments about how this is crap and can't possibly be cool because Apple has already invented everything of merit in the known universe.

Two down, and many more to come.

 

Not a single post in this thread even vaguely approximates your post. Instead of being so concerned about falsely (and trollishly) predicting people's responses in this thread, why don't you provide your own analysis of the product? That would require you to string together a couple coherent thoughts. 

post #35 of 208
Will this eat Apple's lunch in the market? No, obviously not. But there is some impressive tech here.

FireFly, in particular, is a really impressive engineering accomplishment. And coupled with Prime Video, Music, FireTV... you can see that Amazon is executing on a plan to build an Ecosystem that is very sticky. I happen to own AppleTV, GoogleTV, and FireTV by the way, and of the three FireTV is by far the best. I also own Android Tablets, Fire, and iPad... and while I freely admit that iPad is absolutely still the best, the Amazon devices are quite good and really put just about any android tablet to shame.
post #36 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


How do they get developers to develop for their platform when they never announce sales or activation figures? In the presentation Bezos displayed a chart showing steady growth in Prime membership but the slide included no numbers whatsoever.

 

I've also wondered this- as well as how the hell he can keep claiming the success of Kindle tablets when he hasn't release a single sales figure- ever. I guess we'll just take him at his word. Absolutely ridiculous. If they were proud of sales they would have publicized them. I have yet to see a SINGLE Kindle fire in real life- but we're to assume they're an incredible success.

post #37 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

Now with 6 cameras including infrared... so the Android hackers can watch you undress.

Off topic but you just reminded me of a old joke; what's the difference between a thief and a peeping Tom?
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post #38 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post
 

They may get 200,000 units per month if they are lucky. If you figure there are about 100,000,000 AT&T subscribers with about 70% on smartphones. I question if the others show interest but this might bring in late adopters.  So lets say 70,000,000 AT&T customers. I don't see this driving switchers from other carriers.

 

This is really targeted toward Prime with 10's of millions,,, so what 40,000,000 but only about 1/3 of those are on AT&T or about 13,000,000 potential AT&T Prime customers with about 70% smartphone penetration rates. So lets take it to about 9,000,000 POTENTIAL customers that would really be interested in this phone. Now given the bulk of them are on 24 month contracts you have about 380,000 customers/month that will even consider this phone. Given AT&T's heave iPhone population, I don't see much to cause a platform switch from iOS to Amazon's Androidish platform. I suspect it will appeal much more to Android users and perhaps Windows Phones users with a smaller media library built up.

 

So I put sales range between 100,000 and 200,000 per month or [s] enough to kill Apple and cause the collapse of their entire business model.[/s]

That last sentence I don't follow.  is that [sarcasm] or [smile]?

 

2) things that you didn't factor

1) Prime users switching TO ATT.  If your wireless connection is just a big pipe, and you're a heavy Prime user.  You may buy this phone and switch.

2) Trade Downs within contracts... getting a 2nd phone passing down a hand me down iPhone 4s or 5.

 

my guess is that Amazon would Like to see 400K a month in sales US. which is huge. and probably doubling next year as they roll-out to other carriers /Market. 

 

I do see this phone falling into anti 'Everything Else' phone.   From an Amazon perspective, writing to iOS (easy), Fire (easy), Hot Samsung Phone/current Android version (easy), and lower support for everything else.   Lower cost of support, higher consumer delight.


Edited by TheOtherGeoff - 6/18/14 at 12:44pm
post #39 of 208
Originally Posted by tink View Post
Holy competition Batman!

 

In what capacity?

post #40 of 208

When you're spending time presenting how well your phone acts as a kindle book reader, someone should stand up and say, ``Are you kidding me?''

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