For long, two rumors kept churning out of the rumor mill, time and again they were buried, but they were resurrected again. The two rumors were of an Amazon set-top box and an Amazon smartphone. These two rumors have been floating around for years, but Amazon itself hadn’t made a move…Until now.
Earlier this month, Amazon had announced the FireTV set-top box, an innovative device all set to compete with established devices such as the Roku and the Apple TV. All that’s left is the rumor of an Amazon smartphone and it seems that rumor has come back.
Recently, there was a rumor that Amazon will release its purported smartphone free-of-charge. with a 2 year contract, of course. Wy, the WSJ (Which reported this) had done a report on an Amazon 3D smartphone before!
Now, with the release of Amazon’s FireTV, a device that was repeatedly denied to be in existence by Amazon, all eyes are on the purported Amazon smartphone, as this time, the rumors seem to be a little more plausible.
According to the WSJ, Amazon is currently in the process of showing the device designs, prototypes and goals to developers in the Seattle and San Francisco, so that they develop apps for the device. Amazon will reportedly unveil the device around June, around the same time as Google’s annual I/O developer conference.
In a market crowded to the brim with smartphones, Amazon’s smartphone will come with two factors that would help it to differentiate from the crowd: Eyes-free revolutionary 3D and low-cost.
The first factor, as the name suggests, enables you to see the screen in stereoscopic 3D, without the need of funky glasses. One of the first consumer devices to implement this was the infamous Nintendo 3DS and subsequently, manufacturers like LG had released glass-free 3D smartphones, however, these smartphones flopped and even the Nintendo 3DS initially had a slow start for yet another two reasons: The 3D effect required you to hold the device still and in the perfect spot without movement, else the 3D effect will diminish and will give you a headache. This made these devices impractical to use. However, Amazon is set to solve it, as Amazon’s smartphone would feature head tracking using four cameras or sensors on the front of the device, to enable the smartphone to adjust the 3D effect according to your position and movement, thus effectively eliminating the problem.The second was the lack of content, which Amazon can easily solve due to its large library of content. Amazon could flip a switch to introduce new and entertaining 3D content.
Yet, the question whether Amazon’s Smartphone’s 3D would be a gimmick or a useful feature could only be answered when such a device is released (That too assuming the rumors are true).
And coming to the second factor, Amazon will likely place its device low on the price ladder, like it has done with it’s tablets and the recently announced FireTV. This will be done so as to not compete with the bigwigs in the arena and also to attract people to the device. While earlier rumors suggested Amazon will release the smartphone for free under contract, it is highly unlikely that Amazon will do that.
Amazon releases hardware at a low, i.e nominal cost to attract users to Amazon’s ecosystem as the end goal for all Amazon hardware products is to get people to buy into Amazon’s huge content ecosystem, so that Amazon still makes a profit even while it sells devices at low rates. Meaning the devices are just gateways to attract and enable you to buy content from Amazon.
For long it has been rumored and for long we have been disappointed, but all we can do is wait. An Amazon smartphone, right now seems to be the logical move from Amazon as Amazon has hinted at a desire for controlling all consumer markets: Amazon is the world’s leading online shopping portal, Amazon’s recently released FireTV is currently at the top of the charts, its Kindle line is the best-in-class in eReader, its Kindle Fire line gets great sales and so on.