Why an Amazon smartphone is a bad idea

“Reports on Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal in the last two weeks indicate Amazon is working with component makers in Asia to test a smartphone that could go into mass production at the end of 2012 or early 2013,” Therese Poletti writes for MarketWatch.

“Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., is an outlier on this topic, and doesn’t think it’s such a good idea,” Poletti writes. “‘Tablets make sense for Amazon, but a phone does not,’ Sebastian wrote. Because tablets ‘skew more heavily toward media consumption than smartphones, they are a natural fit for Amazon’s commerce and media platform,’ he said. ‘We believe that the smartphone market is inherently more challenging, costly, and fraught with risk as compared to the tablet market.'”

Poletti writes, “Sebastian writes that because the smartphone is really more of a utility device, where maps, voice search and email are among the most popular uses, Amazon would have to develop specialized apps for these functions, as well as sign alliances with all the carriers for distribution. ‘While Amazon’s likely use of a modified version of [Google’s] Android will virtually ensure there will be plenty of content in Amazon’s app store, we do not expect Google to port any of its key native utility apps onto an Amazon/Kindle device. Now that Google has launched its own tablet, the $199 Nexus 7, to compete with Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire, the two are going to become even more fierce rivals.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple’s revolutionary iPad widens lead as tablet sales surge – June 15, 2012
Apple’s massive domination of tablet market unabated as Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire demand tumbles – June 5, 2012
Apple’s iPad remains dominant in Q112 while Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire fizzles – June 4, 2012
Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire shipments have dropped off a cliff – May 9, 2012
Amazon’s Kindle Fire shipments fizzle to anemic 4% market share – May 4, 2012


  1. Like Steve Jobs said, Its not a win/lose situation.

    Apple can just make great products and let everyone else kill each other fighting while it sits on the sidelines and makes tons of profits.

    Just a thought.

  2. Amazon has the resources and the infrastructure to create and market a smartphone. Anyone who thinks that the long term landscape in the communications sector is going to look like it does today is sniffing glue.

  3. It will all depend on whether they can bring something new to the phone market.

    Obviously a unique design like the iPhone proved to be an advantage for Apple. Cheap phones proved to be attractive to other buyers. Blackberry differentiated their phones by a uniquely secure service.

    If Amazon can differentiate their phones in some way, they should do OK out of it. If not, they’re wasting time and money.

  4. I think that an Amazon phone would attrack enough buyers to further dilute the sales of other Android manufacturers. So that would be a plus.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon eventually developed their own non Android based software or bought it from Rim or elsewhere.

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