Why You Will Buy the Amazon Phone (Op/Ed)

Editorial / Mobile / Tech


Amazon Launch Event

Image courtesy of Amazon

Amazon is poised to announce it’s latest device on Wednesday at an event in Seattle and judging by the reaction of everyone featured in the mysterious video posted by Amazon on the launch event page, you will want to buy it immediately.

This is what we know as fact: It is a small device held with one hand and comfortably seen from mid-chest distance. How does this differ from other smartphones?

Here’s why you’ll want to buy one.

Amazon’s Devices Are Amazing

You remember when the Kindle came out, right? It was November 19, 2007 and sold for $399. The device sold out in five and a half hours. It remained out of stock until April 2008. People loved the original Kindle and they love the latest iteration of the Kindle, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. It’s a “powerhouse Tablet” to coin a phrase from Amazon’s own website.

Amazon’s new device will be stunning in both performance and looks. The sleek lines of the upper corner of the device can clearly be seen in the image on the launch site. As can be expected from a teaser picture, the designers have obviously hidden any features of the device such as speakers, the camera, sensors, buttons, or charging ports. This image doesn’t tell us a whole lot, but it tells us everything Amazon wants us to know. The Amazon Phone is going to be awesome. So awesome you don’t even need to see more than a corner of it before launch.

Amazon Smartphone User

Image courtesy of Amazon

Amazon Needs A Phone To Stay Competitive

Apple has the iPad and iPhone, Google and Samsung have the Nexus and Galaxy lines of smartphones and tablets, respectively, and Motorola has, you guessed it, tablets and phones. So how does Amazon stay competitive? They build a phone. Imagine a company that has over 20 million members (Amazon Prime), many millions of tablet sales (Amazon hasn’t released exact numbers of Kindle sales) and an online marketplace that has become a household name. Now this company starts making it’s own smartphone – Amazon is sitting on a gold mine and all they have to do is open the door for business. But they don’t need to make just any smartphone. They need to make a smartphone that incorporates everything in their current ecosystem and maybe even more.

Amazon Smartphone

Image courtesy of BGR

All The Bells And Whistles

Amazon has learned a thing or two through the production of their tablets. They have incorporated stunning graphics, beautiful device designs with high definition screens, amazing power, and a snappy OS. They already know what works and what doesn’t. Now it’s time to take that knowledge and transform the smartphone industry by releasing a phone so amazing that it will set a new standard in all of the aforementioned parts. The way to do that is to design a phone with a little bit of everyone else’s features and an added spark.

Here’s what I mean.

Amazon already knows about HD screens. What I believe the people in the launch teaser video are raving about is a 3D visual effect similar to Apple’s parallax effect on iOS 7. Whether the 3D effect is incorporated into menus and opening and closing apps is largely unknown but leaks have suggested that sensors on the phone will allow menus to open and cycle through options by tilting the device or moving your head in relation to the phone.

Amazon also has a firm grip on apps, and they know how to promote their app market. The Amazon smartphone will use the Amazon App Market exclusively, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Apple has done fairly well making money through their own App Store and the Amazon App Market is Amazon’s way to remove the Google Play Store from the Amazon smartphone. But it’s not the App Market that is exclusive or even important about this phone, it’s features.

Amazon Dash

Image courtesy of Amazon

One More Thing

Another thing Amazon knows about is voice technology. Since the Kindle 2 Amazon has incorporated a text-to-speech engine. Recently, Amazon released the Amazon Dash, a device to add things, using your voice, to your online shopping cart for immediate order and automatic delivery. The Amazon Dash has a barcode scanner button to activate a built-in barcode scanner and a voice activation button. No keyboard, no screen, and no way to plug it into anything.

Amazon obviously doesn’t expect there will be any mistakes and that means they have a firm grasp on voice technology. Does the Amazon Dash device point to an Amazon smartphone with a personal assistant like Google Now, Siri, or Cortana? I believe it does. And I believe it will make Amazon a ton of money because now you will be able to tell your phone that you need more coffee and a shipment will be created and delivered without you doing anything else. Because Amazon knows what you want and because they are ready and able to deliver it, they are making your next smartphone and it will launch tomorrow.

Amazing? No, it’s AMAZON!


Breaking news: Amazon has chosen AT&T as their exclusive carrier for the phone they will release tomorrow. AT&T customers will rejoice while everyone else waits to see if the phone will eventually release on their carrier.

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