I followed a bit of the Amazon announcement during lunch yesterday, then recapped it later. I’m not exactly in the market for a new phone, I’ve had my Note 3 for almost a year and enjoy it just fine, but I was interested to see a new player on the market. Apple and Samsung have been conquering as far as smartphones go, and frankly it’s just sometimes fun to find a new gadget to want that I can’t necessarily have.
After seeing what they’re offering though, I’m nothing but underwhelmed. Amazon is a fantastic company and I use them for a number of things. I’m a Prime subscriber (though I do prefer Netflix for streaming) and I love them for ebooks and music and most everything else. Oh, yeah, and they’re my numero uno for selling my own books. Nevertheless, they’re not the best hardware maker. I have a Kindle Fire but I hardly ever use it, preferring the simplicity and familiarity of my Note. I found the Kindle Fire to be alright from a hardware standpoint but a little clunky to use.
It looks like the Fire Phone (which is a stupid name) suffers from a lot of that. I don’t really know what they could have done extra that Apple and Samsung haven’t already nailed down, but it mimics a lot of what’s out there, promising a better 3-D experience and interface that, at least from my standpoint, most people don’t care about. Until it’s a watch or brace that emits a full blown hologram (I want an Omnitool, damnit!!!), 3-D means nothing.
Part of the reason I’m disappointed is due to the speculation I read beforehand. One of the most interesting things I heard, that I don’t see anywhere, was the possibility of free data with a Prime membership. Even if it were only for Amazon applications, being able to stream movies and music without tearing a gaping maw in my data plan would have been a pretty good reason to buy the phone.
Forbes had an article (that I can’t find now) about it just being another platform to buy Amazon stuff with, and I’m afraid they’re correct on this. Actually, it seems like a lot of people are having the same comments and general disappointment. I’m not saying it’s going to fail, they have the money to make it succeed, but there were a lot of missed opportunities and I think it’ll be a few iterations before I’m interested.