Devices Operators

An Amazon Phone? The “aPhone”? Come on! Yes please!

It’s me again. And I’m back beating the drum for innovation and competition in the mobile industry.

News — or “reports” — have emerged recently that apparently claim Amazon is developing a mobile phone. The reports reckon the handset will run Android, the assumption being that it’ll be a forked version like that of the Kindle Fire.

An Amazon Phone, with the appropriate amount of investment and thought, could well change the planet.

I’ve long considered Amazon a huge potential disruptor in this mobile world. It’s too easy to forget the company’s logistical scale and reach. Plus they’re the ones who have pioneered “it just works” mobile connectivity — anyone with a connected Kindle knows just how easy it is for them to access and purchase books almost anywhere there’s a mobile data connection.

Could Amazon bring this along with their wealth of digital content to a mobile experience? Can you imagine buying the aPhone which comes with 2,000 minutes per month and 2GB of data, all without any roaming fees? A big move like this, with a keen price, could get serious traction. I could readily imagine Amazon solving (or, at least, eating) the telephony and data roaming challenges that plague the market. I think the company would need something as bold as this to get the requisite attention. Unlike most participants in this marketplace, Amazon wants a percentage of your entire monthly budget. Already, I buy everything from toothpaste to batteries, MacBooks and children’s toys from Amazon. You might argue that Amazon doesn’t need to do anything more — but they could easily take steps to lock me into their world even more. Indeed, they could be looking covetously at my monthly mobile spend and wondering what they’d do with that revenue.

A standard Android handset won’t cut it. I think they should look to subvert the dominant paradigm and seriously wind up Apple.

Wouldn’t it be exciting?

Imagine a £59/month price plan from Amazon that includes Amazon Prime, unlimited minutes (both domestic and international) in 75 countries and then unlimited data (all driven and supplied through Amazon’s own cloud-accelerated service). And the only way you get this is buy getting an aPhone? Yes. Sign me up 😉

A move like this would leave Apple seriously frustrated. The one thing Apple hasn’t touched (apart from various revenue sharing agreements) is the monthly price plan. I’m sure Apple would welcome that revenue being paid to them directly, but it’s been in their broad interest to allow the rest of the market to get on with it. How would the company react to proper competition?

I’m on record many times as saying I want to see Apple on the defensive. I’d like to see how they react. I’d like to see some expansive market-moving actions from them. For so long, the company’s been able to operate on (inspired) autopilot without much to worry about.

It’s fun to speculate anyway…

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

4 replies on “An Amazon Phone? The “aPhone”? Come on! Yes please!”

This new “do-fucking-everything” strategy that all the major US tech titans seem to be adopting is crazy. It’s clearly all Apples fault. Just because Apple can do it doesn’t mean the rest can. The list of things that Amazon currently does is already ridiculously long but no that’s not enough, now they want to launch a mobile phone, into what is already a fiercely competitive market, with major vendors with decades of experience (Nokia, RIM) quickly slipping into oblivion. Yep, Amazon is just going march right into this bear pit with next to bugger all in terms of requisite capabilities and create value. I don’t think so and at some point soon all this mad scope expansion will be reeled back. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple – they are the conglomerates of the 21st century and we all know what happened to the conglomerate fad of the last century

My first thought is: What if Amazon would have handled the logistics department for Google during the brief try/test to jump retailers/carriers.

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