Amazon Aiming for Apple?

Members of the rumor mill can pat themselves on the back—as many suspected, online retail giant Amazon has been quietly developing a smartphone of their own. In fact, a new report from the Wall Street Journal says they’re working on two of them, and one will be 3D. 

After tasting success in the tablet market with their e-Reader crossover, the Kindle Fire, Amazon has long stirred speculation over what their next device might be. Now, it seems they have a whole line-up of gadgets in the works, including two smartphones, a set-top box, and an audio-only streaming device. The descriptions don’t reveal much, but each item would likely contend with an existing Apple product (the iPhone, AppleTV, the iPod…) just as the Kindle Fire competed with the iPad. And although the Kindle never succeeded in dethroning Apple’s mighty tablet, it’s held onto a share of the market (3.7% as of 5/1/13, twice that of the Microsoft Surface) and currently rests at #4 among tablets.

Amazon or Apple?

The thing is, Amazon is basically Bizarro Apple in terms of their business model. While Apple profits off of high-margin hardware sales, Amazon devices sell for close to cost, relying on content revenues. If their new gadgets are up to snuff, then I’m certain there will be a market for them—it’s really just a question of how profitable it will be for Amazon.

The 3D phone could really be the key here—although we’ve seen previews of 3D phones for a while now, Amazon could release the first commercially available one and get developers everywhere cranking out 3D apps for them. There’s something to be said for being first, and if Amazon wants to compete with the established leaders in the cellular industry, then offering something no one else has is the way to do it. “They’d like to be the one in your pocket,” said Greg Bensinger of WSJ. Just don’t count on companies like Apple and Samsung to sit by quietly while Amazon tries to out-innovate them!

photo credit: Chris J Bowley via photopin cc


Brent Urmey is an avid reader and writer on a variety of subjects, including social media, SEO, the Wireless industry, and life in Lancaster County, PA. He is a graduate of Drexel University and a survivor of the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse. You can connect with Brent on Google +.