This Phone is on Fire: Amazon Announces the Fire Phone


The smartphone market is dominated by two major players, Apple and Samsung. The top six selling smartphones worldwide are manufactured by one of these two companies. The market for smartphone hardware has proven very tough to crack with major players like Google and Microsoft struggling to make an impact. So, it may seem a little strange that online retail superpower Amazon has decided to make it’s own smartphone, the recently announced Fire Phone.

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What does Amazon hope to accomplish with the Fire Phone, and will they succeed?

Well, first and foremost, they want to make money. Hopefully a lot of money. The global smartphone market is expected to be worth $150 billion by the end of 2014.  Amazon hopes that they can leverage the content available via Amazon Prime and Amazon.com to turn their current subscribers and shoppers into Fire Phone users.

Theoretically, once an Amazon Prime subscriber switches from an iPhone or Galaxy to a Fire Phone, they’d move into an enclosed environment where it would be easier for said user to spend more money on books, apps, and anything else their heart desires with Amazon.

So what makes Amazon think it can succeed where so many others have failed?

  • Content Integration. Amazon believes it will be able to woo its Prime subscribers off whatever device they’re using now by giving them an optimal content consuming experience.
  • Sensors, Sensors, Sensors. The Fire Phone is loaded with sensors and four front-facing cameras that allow the device to create 3D effects not available on other phones.
  • Unlimited Cloud Storage Space. Amazon dominates the cloud storage market and they are allowing Fire Phone users unlimited space to store their photos. That’s a lot better than having to find storage containers for sale to house all those old albums, right?
  • Customer Service. Fire Phone users will have access to Amazon’s excellent Mayday program that allows users to video-conference with a customer service representative for any issue they may have.
  • Firefly. Showrooming (going to a brick-and-mortar store to look at a product before buying it for a lower price online) has become popular and with Firefly, the Fire Phone optimizes the showrooming experience. Simply scan a barcode on any product and pull it up on Amazon.com. In addition to barcodes, Firefly also recognizes music, TV shows, and movies and allows you to purchase them through Amazon.

Of course, the Fire Phone has many, many challenges- specifically, trying to crack into a market where its competitors are popular and hold a vice-like grip on their users. If they succeed however, marketers will need to begin taking the Fire Phone into account when plotting future mobile campaigns.