Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is getting ready to disrupt the smart phone industry again, just two years after its previous attempt failed spectacularly. Sources close to the firm, who spoke with Gadgets 360, say that this time is going to be different.
The new Amazon phone, named “Ice”, will focus, according to the sources, on precisely where the firm’s Fire failed. First it’s going to be focused on emerging countries. Sources state that it will launch at least one new smart phone in India in the next year. Its plans for the rest of the world remain unknown, but some other details do shed light on Amazon’s strategy.
Why Amazon.com, Inc. Ice beats Fire
The Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Ice Phone will sport a display between of between 5.2 and 5.5-inches, a 13-MP camera, 2GB RAM, and 16GB of storage according to the rumors.
Pricing will have to be low to accommodate emerging market buyers, and Amazon appears to be aiming for under $100. That’s a dramatic change from the $449 that the firm billed the original Fire phone at. The new release may be more in line with what analysts expected from the firm’s initial smart phone offering. Before its unveiling Wall Street looked for a budget phone to pair up with the Kindle Fire tablet.
The new “Ice” phone will, surprisingly, forgo Amazon’s closed ecosystem. The firm is going to allow users to use Google services natively in an Android experience closer to Google’s, say the sources. That’s a big change in the firm’s mobile strategy, but there’s no clear information on the software that will come packaged with the phone.
Can Amazon.com beat the iPhone
The Apple Inc. iPhone is still the undisputed leader in the smart phone world and it seems unlikely that Amazon.com Inc. will challenge that supremacy. Instead the “Ice” Phone is going to target the firm’s strengths. It won’t be the best phone out there, but it will have a great price/performance ratio. That is, of course, if the rumors are to be believed.
In reality, very little is known about the Ice phone just yet, but what we do know is that the era of the “iPhone Killer” is over, at least in the Seattle headquarters of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). The Ice phone is an attempt for the firm to target a part of the world’s population that don’t yet use its online retail network.
“Ice” is going to be a very different beast from “Fire” but it won’t come close to the Apple Inc. cash cow if the recent leaks about its focus are true.
Shares in Amazon.com, Inc. fell sharply on Monday morning amid a broader market sell-off. The firm’s cloud business and online retail operation are the true drivers of share value. That means, unless there’s another disaster like the Fire phone, it’s not likely that “Ice” will have anything more than a marginal effect on the firm’s share price. At time of writing shares in Amazon.com, Inc. were trading at $961.65, down 1.7% for the morning so far.