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Amazon's premium Fire Phone seeks to reverse Android's ratchet status

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 
When Amazon launched its Kindle Fire in 2011, the mini tablet's most compelling feature was its discounted low price. With its latest Fire Phone introduction, Amazon has sought to "reverse the ratchet," attempting to distance itself from Android's cheap identity.

Amazon Fire Phone


Amazon's Fire Phone launches with the same entry price as Apple's iPhone 5s and Samsung's Galaxy S5. Amazon capitalizes on the fact that the base model of its new phone has more storage, but it also lacks a variety of features found on other flagships, including the fingerprint login Apple introduced last fall and Samsung led the copying of this spring.

By launching its new phone at the same minimum price as Apple, Amazon was able to add a variety of premium features, including higher quality front and rear cameras (with Optical Image Stabilization on the back lens), a Snapdragon 800 Application Processor on par with Samsung's best (although not a modern 64-bit design with advanced graphics like the A7 inside iPhone 5s) and broad support for 4G LTE (although it only works on AT&T in the U.S.).

Fire designed to move



The Fire Phone also sports a series of auxiliary camera sensors designed to track user behaviors while allowing touch-free navigation. This "Dynamic Perspective" feature creates a motion-responsive user interface with more "tilt and swivel" than even iOS 7.

Just by itself, that new feature suggests that Amazon completely ignored all of the tech media's handwringing about "sick iPhone users" who complained they were left dizzy and nauseous by the slight parallax perspective effects exposed in iOS 7 (and then subsequently toned down and made optional by Apple).

While Amazon's new phone is clearly designed to look like an iPhone (right down to the same chamfered edges of 2012's iPhone 5), it does invoke the same sort of "See, Add-a-Little" innovation of Amazon's Redmond neighbor Microsoft. Rather than moving and then removing a "Start button" to turn the Mac into Windows 8, the Fire Phone removes the Home button to make "Fire OS" completely original from Apple's iOS.

All joking aside, Amazon does not appear to be slavishly copying Apple in the pure "crisis of design" model of Samsung. Instead, Amazon moving in an entirely different direction.

Rather than seeking to impress and please hardware buyers like Apple, Amazon has built another product designed to serve its own needs for moving goods. The biggest two features of Fire Phone are a Shazam-like service for comparison shopping (Firefly) and a customer service app (Mayday) designed to prevent returns.

June 18, 2014


June 18, 2014


Amazon uses Android without the Android Ideology



Amazon achieved this self-serving goal using Android code, but it throws away the rest of the Android manifesto conceived by Andy Rubin and bankrolled by the billions by Google.

In 2008, Google's Rubin launched Android to the hobbyist community backed by a revolutionary ideology suggesting that if we could all just get together and stop respecting intellectual property laws, we could collectively destroy the bourgeoisie class that's creating the evil top-down production of commercial music, movies and software which exploits the consumer classes by asking them to pay for popular culture created by private capital for (gasp!) profit.

Andy Rubin


According to Google's Android ideology, once intellectual property rights are dissolved and the means of production are collectively owned by a benevolent "Do No Evil" corporation, we'll be living in an Android communist paradise where every member of the proletariat can own a low priced smartphone subsidized by adware fed to us by Mother Google.

Android remained a hobbyist curiosity until the end of 2009, by which point Apple had trampled Nokia's Symbian, Microsoft's Windows Mobile and RIM's BlackBerry. With absolutely nothing viable left outside of the iPhone, mobile carriers began throwing their weight behind Android as their last option for keeping phones and mobile subscribers under their control.

Throughout 2010, Android rapidly began replacing all the other low end "smartphone" platforms, quickly convincing the world's tech media that it would just as quickly destroy Apple's iOS, thereby reestablishing the glorious technology monoculture they fondly remembered during the rule of Microsoft's Windows. But that never happened.

Apple's market share of all phones sold has only gone up since 2007, and Apple's iOS platform has only grown in importance and influence, particularly in education and the enterprise.

By 2011, it was already obvious to Amazon that joining Google's Android party was both necessary and potentially disastrous. Amazon needed a "ready to go" OS, but it didn't want to join the commodity pool of undifferentiated Android tablets that were all failing in the market. Amazon "forked" Android to appropriate the code required to deliver an iOS-like platform, but added its own proprietary layers to keep Kindle Fire both unique and exclusively tied to its own services rather than Google's.

In addition to code, Amazon also borrowed Google's focus on the low end, delivering its new tablet as a very low priced device serving as a loss leader that promised to make up for its unprofitability by stoking sales of apps, media and retail goods from Amazon's warehouses. Unfortunately for Amazon, that never happened either.

Despite dropping the "open sourcalism" of Android, Amazon's Android-using Kindle Fire still failed as a product. It had lots of company; not only did every other Android tablet also fail to make any money, but even all of the overtly commercial efforts to build low end tablets (including efforts by Palm, BlackBerry and Microsoft) have failed as well.

Given that Amazon's efforts to compete with Apple by offering a cheaper iPad alternative didn't work out--even after abandoning Google's hypocritical charade about hating patents and refusing to pay third party artists and engineers for their work--Amazon is now taking new aim at Apple with a phone that doesn't offer price-slashing discounts, and instead offers premium features, a tack that Amazon seemed to be migrating toward with the more upscale Kindle Fire HD.

Bezos plays Jobs without understanding the role



Amazon's chief executive Jeff Bezos has long styled himself as a Steve Jobs, perhaps more convincingly than other Android-employing CEOs. When Bezos unveiled the first Kindle back in 2007, it was pitched as the "iPod of books," an original new design driven by a e-ink technology that Amazon claimed to make it far superior to conventional LCD devices like smartphones.

Jeff Bezos


However, while popular with number of Amazon customers, Kindle was no iPod; it never shipped in the tens of millions and didn't turn Amazon into a new powerhouse of profitability. Additionally, the touted superiority of e-ink didn't convince many customers. That forced Amazon to support its Kindle ebooks on iPhones, iPod touch and later iPad via an app, and it later backtracked to add Kindle Fire as its own LCD ebook reader.

Jobs and his Apple engineers were certainly aware of e-ink, too, but had the luxury of saying "no" to the technology, thanks to already having the iPod of music. The same year Amazon released its e-ink Kindle, Apple's Jobs backed a new technology that was clearly far superior to the status quo in smartphones: capacitative multitouch.

Apple's iPhone and iPod touch became the "iPod of books" far better than the Kindle, necessitating Amazon retaliation played though U.S. Federal courts by a judge outraged that Apple was pushing to sell ebooks at a commercially profitable rate that challenged Amazon's ability to dump ebooks on the market at below wholesale rates just to support its paper book monopoly power.

Since the e-ink dried, Amazon's Bezos has worked to identify new Jobs-like advances his company could exploit to differentiate its products. That's a difficult proposition, given that Amazon is now competing against what is the world's most operationally sophisticated tech company to ever exist. Apple's ability to identify original new technologies and turn them into products that outsell the global collective of Android flagships has grown legendary, from Siri to Touch ID.

However, there's more differentiating Amazon from Apple than just Apple's keener sense of what customers want. Everything Apple does is built around the idea of solving customer's problems. Every Jobs keynote, and every Apple Event since Jobs' passing, has focused on the end user problems Apple has identified and sought to address.

Touch ID


Touch ID, for example, wasn't just a gimmick bit of hardware slapped on the iPhone 5s. It was a solution to a security issue that many customers didn't even realize existed, let alone understanding how it could be solved. Yet after Touch ID was released, Apple could show with solid statistics that the number of customers using a security passcode jumped from less than half to most of the iPhone 5s population.

Additionally, authorities have seen a remarkable, immediate drop in crime related to iPhone thefts due to Activation Lock security, which requires a passcode to work. Apple's Touch ID and Activation Lock worked in tandem to solve problems most users didn't even conceive to be related.

Contrast Amazon's Kindle Fire phone: there's nothing on this device that really addresses customer needs. It's built to address Amazon's needs. It tracks what users might want to buy, tracks users' behavior and preferences in order to drive offers and ads, and it seeks to drive app and media sales through Amazon's store. Unlike most Android-using products, it doesn't even give users a big price discount to entice them into openly sharing all their private details and behaviors with marketers.

Despite all the relatively higher-end components and the extra attention to detail that Amazon's product engineers put into the Fire Phone's design, it doesn't strive to serve the needs of consumers and solve their outstanding problems. It purely seeks to drive ads and sales the same way Google's "pure Android" does.

June 22, 2014


While Amazon seeks to stand out from the masses of cheap devices making use of Android--and hopes to demand an iPhone-like price for its higher end product--the problem is that it is not solving real problems for buyers, unless Amazon imagines that the only problems its potential customers face is that they're not buying enough stuff from Amazon.

If Bezos keeps copying the style of Apple without delivering the substance, the next product Amazon's investors might demand is Fire Bezos.
post #2 of 113
I don't get the point of this phone other than Amazon doesn't want to be renting space on other people's platforms/hardware. But it does seem like a phone built for Amazon's needs not consumers needs. I like what Ben Thompson said: just because people like Amazon doesn't mean they want to spend all their time buying things. Amazon added all those cameras to create this unique "dynamic perspective" 3D thing. But by doing so it made the price of the phone similar to premium Apple and Android phones. How many Amazon customers will spend the money when they're used to getting cheap hardware?
post #3 of 113
One thing that can be said is its not stupidly exaggerated like Samsung. But the fact of locking you into there App Store, there shopping experience is worthless.
post #4 of 113
"Ratchet status"? That's where I stopped reading.

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post #5 of 113
"That's so ratchet."
- #SELFIE, The Chainsmokers

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post #6 of 113

Whatever? Ok, in a thousand words, Fire sucks. Got it!

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post #7 of 113
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... a customer service app (Mayday) designed to prevent returns.

 

I wonder how long it will take Samsung to copy that.

What's "Mayday" in Korean?  Anybody?

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post #8 of 113

Ratchet = code word for rat shit

 

Bezos = code word for 3-d bozos

 

Fish sticks = code word for fish sticks

post #9 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

I wonder how long it will take Samsung to copy that.
What's "Mayday" in Korean?  Anybody?
Well according to 9to5Mac, Apple is rumored to be rolling out something similar this fall.
post #10 of 113
I can't wait till iOS 8 so I can install adblock plus and ghostery in safari so when I accidentally click on a Daniel Eran Dilger piece he will not get any ad money for the Tl;DR articles or other junk he writes. Most of his articles are a waste of time, even if I do agree with him 85% of the time.

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post #11 of 113
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Well according to 9to5Mac, Apple is rumored to be rolling out something similar this fall.

 

Apple is so doomed.

/s

 

But seriously folks, Gurman at 9 to 5 actually thinks that one of his leaks caused Apple to scrap a leaked "Healthbook" UI:

 

 While Apple did, indeed, announce a health tracking application and an API for partners to hook into, the interface did not match up with our screenshots from March. The reason, a source confirmed this week, is that Apple revamped the user-interface and dropped the “Healthbook” name late in development due to the leak.

 

Oh.  Right.  Apple threw out a ton of UI work "due to the leak."

And yeah.  I'm the King of Sweden.

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post #12 of 113

Once again, another great piece by you, Daniel. Bravo.

post #13 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Apple is so doomed.
/s

But seriously folks, Gurman at 9 to 5 actually thinks that one of his leaks caused Apple to scrap a leaked "Healthbook" UI:


Oh.  Right.  Apple threw out a ton of UI work "due to the leak."
And yeah.  I'm the King of Sweden.
John Gruber even took him to task on that one. This kid really does need an ego check if he thinks Apple would redesign software because of something he reported. He also claimed anyone contradicting his story about UI designer Greg Christie leaving Apple was getting talking points from Apple PR. A lot of hubris for someone who's only 20 years old.
post #14 of 113
Proof enough that Bezos is no Jobs is evident in the photo of him holding the original Kindle. Look at all those buttons on that thing! If he were on par with Jobs, maybe he would have invented the iPad instead of that crappy monochrome reader with more physical buttons than a tailor shop.
Edited by RadarTheKat - 6/23/14 at 6:16am
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post #15 of 113
Quote:
 Unlike most Android-using products, it doesn't even give users a big price discount to entice them into openly sharing all their private details and behaviors with marketers.

What big price discounts does this refer to? Most Android flagships are priced in the same range as the iPhone. For example, the unlocked S5 starts around $650.

post #16 of 113

I think the phone will be a flop.  That being said, if Samsung doesn't copy the 3D camera nonsense, everyone will know the Firephone will crash and burn if even Samsung feels it's not worth copying. :)


Edited by sflocal - 6/22/14 at 5:55pm
post #17 of 113
It seems to me that Amazon is building a very nice line with the 7"HDX tablet, Fire TV and now phone which comes with a year of Amazon Prime which is a very nice incentive. As a longtime, almost exclusively, Apple user I tried and bought a Fire TV. Liked it so much that I purchased a 7" HDX which is excellent. That Fire tablet is almost as nice as my iPad Mini Retina. It is actually easier to read, nice size and holding it is easier because of the material. I know that the iPad is better but for someone like me to even toy with replacing it with the 7"HDX is something I think Apple should think about. The ATV3 ( of which I have two with one completely replaced by the Fire TV) has stagnated. The interface is not great and actually I rather like Amazon Prime. The Fire TV has some apps, such as Plex, which is nice and is just as easy to use as the ATV3. Still love Apple products but that no longer means that I am unwilling to look at alternatives and the Fire line is appealing to me.

Apple's reliance on the iPhone for so much of its revenue is not healthy. Cell phones come and go. In the longer term I don't see why people would push cell technology as opposed to having some other wireless solution which didn't require towers everywhere. Heck, even a WiFi "phone" makes more sense to me.

I do think they should be thinking of content when it comes to the ATV and they should upgrade the iPod Touch to one with a larger screen. That needs one more than a cell phone. While they are at it do something about content. Joining forces with the cable companies is hardly the way to change the world.

Philip
post #18 of 113
this is the most telling port "there's nothing on this device that really addresses customer needs. It's built to address Amazon's needs. It tracks what users might want to buy, tracks users' behavior and preferences in order to drive offers and ads, and it seeks to drive app and media sales through Amazon's store. " DOE Amazon is fucked
post #19 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I think the fine will be a flop.  That being said, if Samsung doesn't copy the 3D camera nonsense, everyone will know the Firephone will crash and burn if even Samsung feels it's not worth copying. 1smile.gif

Sammy: introducing the Galaxy S 5 Fire...with 3D
post #20 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Sammy: introducing the Galaxy S 5 Fire...with 3D

Nah. Samsung only copies leading devices.

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post #21 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

Apple's reliance on the iPhone for so much of its revenue is not healthy. Cell phones come and go.

 

You'd think mantras would have evolved at least a little in seven years' time.

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post #22 of 113
Hey Daniel,

It seems you have had time to re-read Adam Smith's 'An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations'. Your under-grad professors would be impressed !! Remember though that Smith's earlier work 'The Theory of Moral Sentiments' is a more seminal work worthy of a re-raed also and would have greater application the scenario you paint.

For the rest of you reading this post and have no friggin idea what this all about, DuckDuckGo 'Adam Smith', grab a good long coffee and settle down for a good read...
post #23 of 113
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post
…holding it is easier because of the material.

 

Wow. :lol:

 
…having some other wireless solution which didn’t require towers everywhere.

 

Okay. You go right ahead and invent it, then. We’ll wait. For 40 years.

 
Heck, even a WiFi "phone" makes more sense to me.

 

A phone that can’t be used anywhere, at any time, for any reason makes sense to you? The infrastructure requirement is at least two orders of magnitude greater.

 
That needs one more than a cell phone.

 

Given that it’s not a cell phone now, I don’t get your point. :p

 
While they are at it do something about content.

 

Yeah, while they’re at being the only company in the industry doing anything on their own, they may as well be unreasonably forced to do even more because you say so!

 
Joining forces with the cable companies is hardly the way to change the world.

 

Nice false message here.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #24 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Well according to 9to5Mac, Apple is rumored to be rolling out something similar this fall.
Sounds like something that would have been annoced at WWDC, it is software based anyways.
post #25 of 113
I would print this article out to use as toilet paper. It's that bad.
post #26 of 113
vQuote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

A phone that can’t be used anywhere, at any time, for any reason makes sense to you? The infrastructure requirement is at least two orders of magnitude greater.

 

I doubt the OP was referring to a phone that *only* works over WiFi (since that would not be actually a phone but rather a VOIP client). He was more likely referring to something like what the RepublicWireless startup has been doing, which is to let phones make calls over both cellular and WiFi while (ideally) seamlessly transitioning between the two as the user moves about during calls.

post #27 of 113

Ratsh*t. 

post #28 of 113
Jeff Bezos is Elmer Fudd.
post #29 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

What big price discounts does this refer to? Most Android flagships are priced in the same range as the iPhone. For example, the unlocked S5 starts around $650.

 

Say what? The article didn't specify flagships, only Android phones in general.

 

And most Android phones sold worldwide are low-end junk. The Galaxy S5 represents a small fraction of the total Android phones sold.

 

Samsung doesn't break down their mobile revenues by phones, tablets, IP licensing (for LTE and other cellular patents) or cellular equipment sales, but if we give them the benefit of the doubt and say ALL their mobile revenues were ONLY from phones, then the average selling price of a Samsung phone in 2013 was around $230. And that's being VERY GENEROUS. So a few Galaxy S5 sales can't make up for the gazillion sub-$100 phones Samsung also sells.

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post #30 of 113
I can't see Amazon being sucessful selling an Android phone, especially if Google is struggling to compete in the handset business and finally threw in the towel. But hey, Bezos is welcome to throw his smartphone into the ring and give it a go...
post #31 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post
 

 

Say what? The article didn't specify flagships, only Android phones in general.

 

And most Android phones sold worldwide are low-end junk. The Galaxy S5 represents a small fraction of the total Android phones sold.

 

Samsung doesn't break down their mobile revenues by phones, tablets, IP licensing (for LTE and other cellular patents) or cellular equipment sales, but if we give them the benefit of the doubt and say ALL their mobile revenues were ONLY from phones, then the average selling price of a Samsung phone in 2013 was around $230. And that's being VERY GENEROUS. So a few Galaxy S5 sales can't make up for the gazillion sub-$100 phones Samsung also sells.

The word "discount" would suggest a lower selling price than what would be considered "normal". The "low-end junk" you refer to live in a completely different product category than the premium iPhone-class hardware, so it is not meaningful to compare their prices. What, then, is considered a "normal" selling price for all those sub-$100 phones? If all those gimped phones are selling for $100, then $100 is their standard price.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 6/22/14 at 8:39pm
post #32 of 113

DED and "Gutter" journalism go hand and hand.

 

See what I did there? 

post #33 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

The "low-end junk" you refer to live in a completely different product category than the premium iPhone-class hardware, so it is not meaningful to compare their prices.

Thank you!

I wish people would remember that when the quarterly smartphone reports come out.

People love to combine ALL smartphones sales together and then calculate Apple's particular share. I never understood that.

The automobile market has clearly defined categories. They don't compare sales of luxury cars to economy cars. While all those cars have four wheels and get you from place to place... they attract different customers.

So I don't understand why a $600 phone is on the same chart as a $100 phone.
post #34 of 113

I'll be upfront and say that most of you guys just don't get it; you don't understand why Amazon would build a phone to begin with, and so you try to frame it in terms that you can understand, which is direct competition with Apple.  But Bezos isn't trying to compete with Apple.  Bezos isn't trying to steal Apple's lunch (yet), or even grab the pickle off their burger.

 

Bezos is optimizing Amazon's business, which is in essence the argument leveled in this piece, minus all the Apple worship.

 

Kindle is an excellent case in point.  Although just about everyone here is quick to dismiss Kindle tablets, when you look at the real numbers, it's easy to see why Bezos and company think they are a grand idea.  Kindle tablets are estimated to own about 7 - 8% of the market, which is not as insignificant as everyone here would like to imagine.  It is higher, for example, than those guys up in Redmond.  Still it is a number that is obviously no threat to Apple.  But it may interest you to know that this seemingly insignificant 7 - 8 percent number has helped fuel 21% quarterly growth of Amazon's sales of media (video, books, and other content).  So that small 7 - 8 percent market share is driving almost 90% growth YOY of Amazon's content business, which is not at all shabby, and which more than justifies Amazon's approach.  And that business presently accounts for almost 8 billion dollars in annual revenue.  Map that number out with 1 or two years of continued 90% growth and it is not very hard to understand why Amazon is committed to their technology strategy.  Promoting their ecosystem is a huge plus for Amazon's business.

So against that, the sane question to ask is why wouldn't Amazon want to build a phone?  It is tailor made to drive the company's core business, and that is I might add not a shred different from how Apple uses the halo effect of their hardware to drive other aspects of their business.

 

FYI, it is estimated that grabbing just 3% of the Android phone market could net Amazon an additional $5 billion in annual revenues.  That's not chump change.

 

People don't understand how Bezos approaches things; he has a horizon of 5 to 10 years when it comes to business strategy, and it is a core value for him that he is willing to be misunderstood for a very long time, which is essentially what most of you are doing; you misunderstand what Bezos is up to and you all too quickly dismiss it.  

Amazon has built probably the best cloud services infrastructure in the world, which is quite surprising for a company everyone sees as a retailer.  But to clue you in on how good AWS is, it is the backbone for many successful tech companies, including Netflix, Adobe, Expedia, Pinterest, and more.  As a matter of fact, AWS just won a major CIA contract, and beat out IBM to do it.  Which serves, in many ways, as a testimony.

Amazon has also built an advertising and data harvesting enterprise that significantly exceeds that of competitors such as Twitter and LinkedIn, and which directly challenges Google in many ways.

 

Amazon competes directly against Netflix for streaming video, and quite well.

 

Amazon competes against Google and Apple for video and music content sales.

 

Amazon is a gargantuan retailer competing against almost everyone.

 

Amazon just built a payment processing service to compete against Paypal and others.

 

And I could go on.

 

My point is that there is a much bigger picture here than simply hawking phones, and I think that most of you laughing about the phone completely miss that very big picture; you don't see the many strategic ways in which selling a phone is a strong plus for Amazon's business, even if it never even comes close to challenging Apple in any way.

 

Have a nice evening.


Edited by tt92618 - 6/22/14 at 9:21pm
post #35 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

What big price discounts does this refer to? Most Android flagships are priced in the same range as the iPhone. For example, the unlocked S5 starts around $650.


Ummm, no. Most Androids are sub $300 - $350. That's half the price of an iPhone. The higher priced Androids (>$350 or $400) represent a small portion of the Android party (I'd guess about 20%). Plus, almost all Androids now have special discounts and incentives like zero interest for EMIs, free Google Drive storage for 2 or 3 years, Cash-back etc.

post #36 of 113
Bezos aping Jobs is just sad, like a mall cop standing next to a state trooper.

This article wasn't up to Dilger's usual standards. Normally I enjoy his posts but this had many annoying statements.

" there's nothing on this device that really addresses customer needs." - for an Amazon customer, instant communications with customer service is most certainly a benefit.

I personally have no interest in it, but Daniel undermines the valid portions of his arguments with nonsense like this.
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post #37 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post

Bezos aping Jobs is just sad, like a mall cop standing next to a state trooper.

This article wasn't up to Dilger's usual standards. Normally I enjoy his posts but this had many annoying statements.

" there's nothing on this device that really addresses customer needs." - for an Amazon customer, instant communications with customer service is most certainly a benefit.

I personally have no interest in it, but Daniel undermines the valid portions of his arguments with nonsense like this.

 

As is instant and seamless access to their content purchased through Amazon.

post #38 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post

Bezos aping Jobs is just sad, like a mall cop standing next to a state trooper Jack Bauer.

1biggrin.gif

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post #39 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post

 

Kindle is an excellent case in point.  Although just about everyone here is quick to dismiss Kindle tablets, when you look at the real numbers, it's easy to see why Bezos and company think they are a grand idea.  Kindle tablets are estimated to own about 7 - 8% of the market, which is not as insignificant as everyone here would like to imagine.  It is higher, for example, than those guys up in Redmond.  Still it is a number that is obviously no threat to Apple.  But it may interest you to know that this seemingly insignificant 7 - 8 percent number has helped fuel 21% quarterly growth of Amazon's sales of media (video, books, and other content).  So that small 7 - 8 percent market share is driving almost 90% growth YOY of Amazon's content business, which is not at all shabby, and which more than justifies Amazon's approach.  And that business presently accounts for almost 8 billion dollars in annual revenue.  Map that number out with 1 or two years of continued 90% growth and it is not very hard to understand why Amazon is committed to their technology strategy.  Promoting their ecosystem is a huge plus for Amazon's business.

 

I thought Amazon didn't release figures.

 
People don't understand how Bezos approaches things; he has a horizon of 5 to 10 years when it comes to business strategy, and it is a core value for him that he is willing to be misunderstood for a very long time, which is essentially what most of you are doing; you misunderstand what Bezos is up to and you all too quickly dismiss it.

 

This 'horizon of 5 to 10 years' in the future is repeatedly getting him nowhere. The reason Kindles have even managed to grab a minute share in the vast sea of devices is because they are so cheap, and purported to drive Amazon sales.

 

Amazon has also built an advertising and data harvesting enterprise that significantly exceeds that of competitors such as Twitter and LinkedIn, and which directly challenges Google in many ways.

 

Data harvesting is a good thing because...?

 

Amazon competes directly against Netflix for streaming video, and quite well.

 

Amazon competes against Google and Apple for video and music content sales.

 

Amazon is a gargantuan retailer competing against almost everyone.

 

Amazon just built a payment processing service to compete against Paypal and others.

 

Amazon doesn't compete directly with all these services. It's a retailer that competes with all of them at a given time, and doesn't perform half as good. Netflix is tailored to provide just video streaming. Just open netflix.com and see how everything is catalogued.

 

Open iTunes store or Google Play store, and you'll see a neat organisation of everything, not a slapdash like that of Amazon. Same goes for PayPal. They have a competing service, yes, but I am yet to hear a person say "I fancy paying for this with my Amazon payment service, you know the one they built to compete with PayPal..."

 

My point is that there is a much bigger picture here than simply hawking phones, and I think that most of you laughing about the phone completely miss that very big picture; you don't see the many strategic ways in which selling a phone is a strong plus for Amazon's business, even if it never even comes close to challenging Apple in any way.

 

The discussion is about the newly launched phone, please see the title. The reason why Fire Phone misses is because of its price. If it would have been priced sub $300, then yes, people would buy it and subsequently drive Amazon sales.

 

And as Daniel's post pointed out, Fire Phone doesn't really cater to users' needs, and that'd be fine if it were priced lower. With a price similar to iPhone, and features that do not tend to make your work easier (even the limited selection of apps), ask yourself if you want to buy Fire Phone, or rather buy some other phone.

post #40 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I don't get the point of this phone other than Amazon doesn't want to be renting space on other people's platforms/hardware.

Is it a phone? I haven't read anything about the demo showing the Phone Fire operating in phone mode.

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