Hot on the heels of its successful Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon is busy readying an iPhone competitor.
Hot on the heels of its successful Kindle Fire tablet launch, Amazon is busy readying an smartphone competitor to go head to head with the iPhone.
According to AllthingsD, Citigroup analyst Mark Maharey has stated that the device will be released in Quarter 4 2012 (July to September in the US).
Earlier in the year Mr Maharey correctly predicted the announcement of the Kindle Fire tablet, an iPad competitor which launched this week in the US. No UK release date has been confirmed. Amazon’s tablet the Kindle Fire has seen huge preorders and has upped its hardware production to 5 million units by year end, according to Digitimes.
Amazon is moving to take advantage of its colossal online product ecosystem, running across books, video and its new music store to tie people to its own proprietary hardware, much as iTunes has with its iPads and iPhones.
A smartphone is a logical, if more riskier, progression. While producing a tablet and tying it to your own system is relatively simple, any moves in the phone space will involved dealing with third party telecoms around the world.
Amazon’s previous moves into the hardware market have been a success. The original Kindle e-book reader kicked the e-book market off. Watersone’s now uses the Kindle, and WH Smith uses rival Kobo. Amazon claims that e-books now outsell hardbacks 2:1.
Whether Amazon’s Smartphone goes for a high concept, spec heavy machine to genuinely compete with the iPhone 4S is doubtfulgiven the company’s strategy so far.
Whether that matters is another question. Content is king and consumers are more interested in a smooth experience with ease of access to content, rather than raw computing power.
The unnamed Amazon phone device and its components will be manufacturered by Hon Hai’s TMS business group (the same group that makes Amazon’s E-reader). Mr Mahaney estimates a product price of US$243 to make 30% margin, depending whether or not Amazon pursues a loss-leader strategy.