Will Amazon introduce a Kindle phone?

    As many of you know, Amazon has an event slated for today where we expect to see the successor to the Kindle Fire.  Given all the stars that have lined up as of late, anything less would be considered a severe let down.  But what if that was not all Amazon had up their sleeve?

    The guys at The Verge are reporting that Amazon has, in fact, been working on an Android 4.0-powered phone that runs on the same OS as the Kindle.  The handset is said to be incomplete at this time but it could still be part of the September 6 presentation.  Amazon has recently chosen Nokia for the mapping technology in their Kindle Fire so it stands to reason that it could be in a smartphone as well. There are no other details to share at this time however we are but hours from potentially learning more.

    What say you about a Kindle Phone? Do you like the idea of Amazon getting into the handset business?

    • Amazon should not introduce a smartphone. It would get them into a bigger hole than what they are into now. In fact, they should not have introduced a tablet but what has happened has happened.

      • ChrisLH

        I disagree with this completely. The Fire is a perfect storefront for Amazon content, which is exactly why they released it. They sell it at a loss knowing they can get additional people into the Amazon ecosystem, similar to Apple. MP3s, Movies/Videos/TV Shows, Books, Apps, etc. All of those are extremely easy to access from the Fire and creates a pretty seamless and integrated solution for people who already purchase content from Amazon, or just don’t like Apple.

        Plus, at such a low price, it became an impulse buy for a lot of people who already used Amazon for shopping or who were Prime members because they already had access to a lot of free content.

        As far as the phone, I think its a great idea. Not everyone has, or wants, a tablet, but almost everyone has a phone. What better way to draw more people into Amazon than to put all of their services and content right in their pocket?

        This isn’t a short-term play by Amazon, but a much more long-term strategy. Amazon already had the content in place, and continues to expand it, but no easy way to distribute it without relying on 3rd party applications on Android phones/tablets. Now they have a very effective distribution for all of the content they’ve spent the last several years expanding.

        That said, I don’t like how closed-feeling the Fire is – way too much like an iPad instead of a traditional Android device. I think in this respect, Google has made a very good strategic decision to enter the tablet market with a high quality tablet at a low-end cost and stock Android. For the Fire to continue the success its had to this point, I think Amazon needs to re-think their Apple-like strategy and highlight the flexibility and functionality that Android users prefer. I can’t imagine the phone is going to have anything similar to the Fire as far as the user interface, so hopefully this is a step in that direction for all of their Android products.

        Similarly, if Amazon is willing to partially subsidize the phone for off-contract purchases, they could get a huge influx of new users. People in the US are starting to get tired of their service providers and getting locked into 2 year contracts just to save $100 or so. Amazon could really begin to shift the entire industry in the US if they wanted to be that aggressive. It would be even better if they would buy one of the providers like T-Mobile and then really force the issue. Amazon has always impressed me with its forward thinking and of all the companies out there right now trying to compete with Apple, they are as well positioned for the future as any of them. The key is content, and Amazon has the content and a willingness to take a loss on hardware in order to increase the number of users who are tied into their content.

        I’m definitely interested in hearing why you think Amazon is making a mistake by releasing a phone (and previously a tablet).

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