Amazon announced this week a new mobile phone with a solid design and many features, called Amazon Fire. Will it be a game changer and give Amazon a big advantage in the marketplace? And what does it mean for small business owners?
Amazon Fire comes with 4 cameras, positioned in the corners of the device, as well as infrared sensors, so it “knows” where its user is located and where he or she is looking. The phone uses this information to rotate the display in “3D” and allow the user to peek into the display, as well as scroll and navigate with one hand.
To make life even easier, this phone can recognise many things in real life (using a technology called Firefly) and use them to offer relevant actions. Here is a quick summary:
- Phone numbers, email addresses, URLs, QR codes and bar codes on signs, posters, magazines and business cards: Once these items are recognised, they can be used to make a call, send an email, create a contact or go to a website without typing
- 245,000 movies and TV episodes and 160 live TV channels: Amazon Fire uses IMDb for X-Ray to show actors, plot synopses and related content, add titles to Watch List or download and start watching immediately
- 35 million songs: The phone recognises music with the help of Amazon Music, shows information about the artist, suggest additional songs, adds them to Wish List or downloads instantly
- 70 million products, including household items, books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and more: Access product details, add items to your Wish List, or order on Amazon.com
There are already third party extensions for the new phone technology in the Amazon Fire and more will be coming for sure when the phone gains momentum in the market. Here is a video about the Amazon Fire and what you can expect to get with it (and my conclusions below):
Life after Amazon Fire
Is there a catch?
As you would expect, although this phone provide a great user experience, it is closely linked with Amazon’s vast network of cloud services, like music, photo storage and, of course, online store. Using anything provided by Amazon is super easy and super intuitive, but it comes at a price, while other services are not likely to be as easy to use on this device.
For small business owners, if Amazon Fire takes the world by store, this makes selling on Amazon more sensible than it ever was, especially when combined with using Amazon Payments on the business’ website. From there, the path is short to putting additional parts of the business and/or the site on Amazon’s systems.
Unfortunately, Amazon still doesn’t cater to Australian businesses very well, which means that the release of the Amazon Fire is very good for Americans (yet again) and for those who can offer their products worldwide and make a profit from selling on Amazon.
On the other hand, now that the concepts used to make the Amazon Fire are out in the open, it’s only a matter of time before they are copied to other mobile phones and used by other giant cloud companies to boost their respective sales.
Are we headed for a time when we’ll need more than one mobile phone, then?
Most likely not. As with many good inventions, once others join in, the idea stops being exciting and people see it for what it is: gross manipulation.
Have a great day,