The smartphone market currently features some of the fiercest competition within the tech world with Samsung and Apple being the two largest players who are battling for the top spot. The real question is what made Amazon think they could produce their own smartphone and enter the market to compete with these big names?
We may never know their reasoning, but what we do know is the company’s “Fire Phone” has been officially on the market for 32 days yet reports are indicating no more than 35,000 units have been sold to date. To put this in a better perspective, competitors like Samsung sold 5 million Galaxy S5 devices in May alone whereas Apple sold a whopping 7 million iPhone 5s units during this same 31 day period.
The Amazon Fire Phone does have its benefits and truthfully some of the features impressed me when it was first announced, however there are a few issues with their marketing strategy that turned people away from purchasing the device. First off, the Fire Phone is exclusive to AT&T subscribers which means they have cut their target customer base to only 34% of the market. Sure, this worked when Apple released the original iPhone release although there wasn’t nearly as much competition back then.
The second big issue is the price as most people don’t want to pay $200 for a new smartphone and then be locked into a 2 year commitment. While I always dish out the full cost of the newest iPhone model, I have many friends and family who would rather get a free upgrade or pay $50 or $100 for one model older since they think they are getting a better deal. With so many competing models that are all virtually capable of the similar features and performance, it is tough to find a reason why as an average consumer you should buy the Amazon Fire Phone at $200 versus a slightly outdated Samsung Galaxy S4 for a small fraction of the price.
In the end, this is surely not good news for Amazon (similar to the HTC First) and the potential for a future line of Fire Phone models. While the phone looks and performs in a comparable manner to its competition, there is not much incentive to buy an Amazon phone especially when both Samsung and Apple have a large cult-like following that will be hard to convert into new customers.
Source: The Guardian