Amazon Ice Phone: Has Amazon Learnt Lessons From The “Fire Phone” Disaster?

Must Read

LinkedIn Finally Rolls Out The Most Requested Feature By Users

Microsoft owned LinkedIn has recently been reported to have revamped its profile section with an amazing feature...

Google is Giving Microsoft a Taste of its Own Medicine

The latest version of the Microsoft Edge browser was launched about a month ago for Windows 10,...

Facebook Without Mark Zuckerberg And Sheryl Sandberg?

Imagine Facebook without Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, the current CEO and COO of the world's largest...

There is no question about it; the Amazon Fire Phone was an unmitigated disaster. The launch and subsequent failure of the Fire phone back in 2014 was one of the most high-profile failures in recent memory. It also served to show just how competitive the smartphone industry had become.

At that point, many would have written Amazon off from the smartphone game. However, it seems like Amazon is determined to have another shot. According to industry sources, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is reportedly working on a new line of phones under the branding “Ice“. The internet giant may soon start its second innings in the smartphone industry with the “Ice Phone“.

So how is the Ice lineup of smartphones different from the Fire phone? And will the second time be a charm for Amazon as they try to break into the smartphone space? Let’s have a look.

Advertisements

Amazon Ice Phone: Is It Really Cool?

Right off the bat, it seems like Amazon wants to distance themselves from the Fire phone disaster. This is evident from the name “Ice”, which is the antithesis of Fire. This is not all that different. The Ice lineup essentially seeks the opposite of everything the Fire phone tried to achieve.

  • The Ice lineup will target emerging markets such as India, not elite markets like the US.
  • The reported specs of one of the devices are 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, 13-megapixel rear camera with a 5.2-5.5 inch screen. Powering the phone will be a Snapdragon 435, a fingerprint scanner on the back and Android Nougat. These specs place the phone in the budget-mid end segment in terms of smartphone specs and performance.
  • The phone will reportedly be priced at $93 (Rs 6000). This means Amazon is targeting the budget segment of emerging market.
  • Perhaps most importantly, the Ice line of phones will feature the entire suite of Google’s Apps including Gmail, the Play Store and Google Assistant.

This is a surprising move by Amazon. By essentially reversing everything that constituted the Fire phone, Amazon is looking to crack the smartphone industry in an entirely different fashion.

Amazon Adapting To Their Failures

After the relative success of the Amazon Fire tablets, Amazon geared up to enter the smartphone space with their much hyped “Fire Phone” in mid-2014. With “innovative” new features, top of the line hardware specs and a price-tag to match, Amazon went after the premium segment and competed with the big boys – Apple and Samsung. Needless to say, it didn’t work out for them. Nearly three years have passed since then, and now would be an opportune moment to conduct a post-mortem analysis of the Fire phone.

The reasons for the failure of the Fire phone were manifold, but they can be boiled down to a few critical ones:-

  • Gimmicky Features – The Fire phones tried to stick out from the pack by implementing some “innovative” new features like its 3D display. However, these features turned out to be no more than gimmicks and rarely provided any real functionality.
  • Pricing – The Fire phone was touted as a premium phone intended to compete with the best. This was not the best idea, as users preferred similarly priced offerings from Apple and Samsung.
  • Exclusivity – The Fire phone’s target market was the US and a couple of other western markets. However, its exclusivity to the AT&T network seriously dampened its sales prospects.
  • Custom OS – This was undoubtedly the biggest deficiency with the Fire phone. The FireOS lacked the highly popular Google Services like Gmail and Play Store. This was a deal breaker for many users who found Amazon’s competing services simply not good enough.

It is clear that Amazon has learned the lessons from this. The new Ice phones will be very competitively priced, have no crippling exclusivity agreements, and will feature a fully featured version of Android. However, will this be enough?

Advertisements

Can Ice Succeed Where Fire Failed?

The Ice lineup is liable to be hugely important for Amazon. After the failure of the Fire phone, they do not have much room for further mistakes. This represents a vital opportunity for Amazon to expand its non-e-commerce branch of operations and grab a foothold in the $428.9 billion dollar smartphone industry. Amazon has shown tremendous growth in the past few years, as evidenced by their soaring brand value. However, to take on Apple and Google, they need to go to the next level and compete with them directly in the smartphone space.

The Ice smartphones can also help in propagating Amazon’s own service and app ecosystem. We have already talked about Amazon’s efforts to create an ecosystem capable of dominating technological platforms of the present and the future. If Amazon manages to invest enough users in their ecosystem, they may even be able to break free from Google and Android one day.

The Ice smartphones could also be good news for Alexa. We have already talked about how hugely important Alexa is for Amazon’s future. Although Alexa’s presence in the Ice smartphones is doubtful at the moment, they can still serve as a vast repository for data to aid in improving their AI via machine learning.

Takeaways

  • The average selling price of smartphones in India is about $155. In such price sensitive market, a $93 phone is sure to shake up the market. We can expect the Fire phone to provide stiff competition and gain significant market share in the low-end segment.
  • This is Amazon’s second attempt at the smartphone market. By going for high volume markets and focusing on services, Amazon is trying to expand their ecosystem and push their service business.
  • Amazon faces tough competition from Google themselves, who are also targeting developing markets with their Android Go platform. Due to their expertise and vast experience, the edge lies with Google in this face off.
  • The Ice smartphones pose no threat to Samsung or Apple. However, they do pose a threat to Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi, Vivo and OPPO which are currently dominating Indian smartphone market.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

India Wants A Bigger Chunk of $100 Billion In Global Taxes Levied On Google, Facebook and Amazon

It has been reportedly found out that India is adamantly pushing for a huge change at Organisation...

Facebook May Have To Pay $3.50 Per Month To Millions of Users?

Almost every internet tech giant, be it Facebook, Google or Twitter, has flourished by optimising and channelising their strategies that are largely...

Google Warns Users To Update Their Chrome Browser Right Away!

If you are an active user of the Chrome browser, Google wants you to stop all the work and update Chrome browser,...

TikTok Owner ByteDance Gearing Up To Challenge Facebook, Apple And Amazon!

ByteDance Inc. doesn’t want their massive success to go downhill after its blockbuster video app TikTok blew up in the social media...

Global Online Payment Frauds: Over $200 Billon Would Go Down The Drain In The Next 5 Years [REPORT]

The online payment frauds are becoming a new nightmare for digital users and authorities as well. It has been estimated that a...

Music Streaming Platforms In India: Gaana And JioSaavn Account For Over 50% Market Share!

The Times owned Gaana emerged as the top music streaming platform in India. It outpaced all peers by accounting a whopping 30%...

In-Depth: Dprime

YouTube Should Have Bid Adieu To Dislike Button Much Earlier?

Online video sharing platform YouTube can be a ruthless place for content creators targeted by 'dislike mobs'. And the site owners totally understand that...

Facebook Has Pulled Off A Masterstroke By Integrating Its ‘Family Of Apps’?

It’s indeed hard to believe that ONE man sitting at Menlo Park, oversees how nearly a third of the world’s population interacts with each...

Facebook’s Crunch Conquest: By Relying Largely On The US Market, Is Facebook Running a Risk?

Two billion! That's Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) for you - Right when you thought that this social-media giant has already connected the entire world, it's...

More Articles Like This