Amazon’s Misfire Phone: How Jeff Bezos failed

“There’s no question that the Fire Phone is a strong product offering, in the sense that it offers technological differentiation from its competitors while at the same time is at ‘spec parity’ with most of the high-end Android devices on the market, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S5,” Jason Perlow writes for ZDNet. “However, what the Fire Phone and Amazon failed to do with this launch was to actually disrupt, which is what one would expect of a new player in the mobile space and Jeff Bezos’s track record with new consumer electronics products as a whole.”

“Other writers and analysts have pointed out that perhaps having AT&T as the sole carrier at launch and not going with a more of an “uncarrier” or contract cutting voice/data model may also hurt adoption of the device. Maybe T-Mobile might have been a better choice in this regard. But in terms of being able to fundamentally change the way people purchase wireless data today across carriers, I’m not entirely sure this is something even Amazon would have had sufficient leverage with,” Perlow writes. “I’m being realistic here that the wireless industry in the United States is such a wretched hive of scum and villainy that nobody is going to be able to fix it without significant government intervention. So on that front, I’m going to let Bezos off the hook.”

“Dynamic Perspective and Firefly being marketed as the prime differentiators are not the core issue here — the phone itself is coming out the gate at the same price point as premium Android devices and the iPhone, at $199 in the least expensive configuration. To me, this was the primary failure in the product’s launch, to not disrupt on pricing,” Perlow writes. “A non-3D, 16GB Fire Phone could have been a disruptor at $99 or less. This counts as a big missed opportunity in my opinion. I also fail to understand how this product is fundamentally better than other smartphones on the market for the company’s loyal Prime customers, [to whom] this phone is essentially targeted.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Sparkle” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Amazon’s Fire Phone might be the biggest privacy invasion ever – June 19, 2014
Analyst: No impact to Apple iPhone from Amazon ‘Fire Phone’ – June 19, 2014
Amazon launches shopping machine masquerading as a phone – June 18, 2014
Amazon Fire Phone’s Firefly feature: Apple’s iPhone already has it – June 18, 2014
Amazon shows ‘Fire Phone’ with 4.7-inch 3-D display to court mobile shoppers – June 18, 2014
Analyst: Amazon smartphone no threat to Apple’s iPhone, but Android phone makers beware – June 17, 2014

33 Comments

  1. It’s a little early to call it a “failed” (past tense) phone, even if it is an Android.

    While I personally would never buy a phone from someone who’s primary goal is to learn everything about my private life so they can sell me more stuff, all Amazon has to do is report that it is a “SUCCESS” without releasing any sales figures and the media will repeat it . . . over and over.

  2. What I find interesting that the Apple bashers are not talking about what they compline about the iPhone. It is a Walled Garden. it’s made of glass, no removable battery, no upgradeable memory, you can’t customize it. This should be the first things they talk about.

  3. As with all Android phones, there is no ‘walled garden’ to play in, so basically the phone you get is all you get. No iTunes to manage it, or back it up, or iTunes store to find new apps. No integration with iPhoto, or your mail app or even the most basic sync with your PC. All Adroid phones are just products unto themselves and woe to you should something ever happen to it – your files are toast.

    Even the most tech literate among us have to be master-level tech gurus just to achieve parity with Apple’s integration model, and the vast majority of Android users are tech illiterate who just wanted to buy the cheapest phone they could get. No thanks, not gonna join that crowd.

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