The arrival of the Amazon Fire Phone has prompted questions as to whether or not the device really stands a chance of competing in the face of Google and Apple’s stranglehold on the Smartphone market. Amazon’s unveiling of the first ever Fire phone prompted everything from minor cardiac events to indifferent grunts. On things for […]
The arrival of the Amazon Fire Phone has prompted questions as to whether or not the device really stands a chance of competing in the face of Google and Apple’s stranglehold on the Smartphone market.
Amazon’s unveiling of the first ever Fire phone prompted everything from minor cardiac events to indifferent grunts. On things for sure though now – there’s a new combatant on the block ready to take it to the mainstream Android and iOS Smartphone markets, prompting the question of whether it has any real chance of succeeding where the others failed?
Or perhaps more importantly, does the Fire phone really bring anything to the table that will tempt buyers to say ‘no’ to a 24-month iPhone contract and go for Amazon’s newbie instead?
When compared like for like with Windows Phone at least, Amazon has a good chance of success with the Fire phone. The history of Microsoft’s efforts in the Smartphone and tablet PC domain have been anything but inspiring, with Redmond having thrown everything but the kitchen sink and the project and barley scraped better than a 5% Smartphone OS market share. Not that it’s not a great piece of software, but the monopolies of iOS and Android combined with a general lack of confidence/interest in Microsoft’s mobile roadmap has made it difficult, maybe even impossible for them to gain a footing.
In terms of hardware and raw power, the general consensus is that very few will view things like CPU speeds and RAM as important if going for the Fire phone over an alternative. Admittedly the unique 3D interface, the 5.5-inch screen and the 13-megapixel camera are all impressive enough, but the Fire phone doesn’t technically bring anything brand-new to the table.
In which case, what will be its key selling points?
Well, first of all there’s the current Kindle Fire user-base – a pretty epic arsenal of Amazon devotees who for one reason or another have already bought into the ecosystem good and proper. We of course aren’t talking about the kinds of user-base Apple’s iOS has chalked up over the years, but it’s still a pretty huge and entirely global audience to tap into with its new Smartphone.
Then of course comes the new Firefly feature – that being the way in which you can point the camera of the Fire at pretty much anything you can find anywhere and have the device tell you what it is, where you can get it from, how much it costs, who makes it and so on. Exactly how relevant or useful this is likely to prove remains to be seen, but as a toy it’s one of the best we’ve seen in a while and makes a great selling point in its own right.
230,000 Amazon Apps are a far cry from the 1.5 million or so served up by Google and Apple’s respective app stores, but for the most part everything you’re ever likely to genuinely need will be here.
Referring back to the earlier question, the chances of Amazon’s Fire Phone being sufficient to lure in iOS and Android fans is pretty slim to say the least. To call the Fire phone a gimmicky marketing product probably isn’t fair, but in terms of offering anything above and beyond what’s already doing the rounds from the world’s market leaders, key selling points appear dangerously few and far between.