#kindle phone

Speaking of Amazon, here’s Jason Del Ray on some insane numbers the company is projected to see from Kindle owners:

Based on its research and analysis, CIRP estimates that Kindle owners spend $1,233 per year on Amazon compared to $790 per year for Amazon shoppers who don’t own one of the company’s e-readers or tablets. Kindle owners aren’t necessarily buying more at a shot, but are buying more frequently.

“Another way to look at Kindle Fire and Kindle e-Reader is as a portal to Amazon.com,” CIRP’s Mike Levin said in a statement. “Kindle Fire provides access to everything Amazon sells, while Kindle e-Reader has become the way that Amazon customers buy books, Amazon’s original product line.”

On the surface, at least, one could make the argument then that Amazon could potentially drop prices on the devices to get them into the hands of more people, since they become more valuable customers. But, drop prices too far and you may attract a different set of customers that may cause that spending disparity to shrink.

This, in a nutshell, is why I think it’s probably smart to think of any phone Amazon does as more of a “Amazon Prime Phone” and less of a “Kindle Phone” (even if it’s called something more along those lines). It’s sole purpose may be to supercharge Amazon sales (both digital and physical)

And while we’re calling people out

While Nilay Patel did qualify his Verge headline with the wussy “could”, he also wrote the following:

Multiple sources have confirmed to The Verge that Amazon is working on a smartphone that runs a variant of the Kindle Fire’s Android-based operating system, and we’re now hearing that the device will be shown to the press tomorrow.

The correct reporting would have been: “and we’re now hearing that the device will *not* be shown to the press tomorrow”. 

So essentially all Patel reported was what Bloomberg reported months ago. But “exclusively”, mind you. 

It seems to me that unlike so many other Apple rivals, Amazon actually does a good job with buzz surrounding their events. Tonight, they debuted a commercial during the NFL kickoff that clearly teases out some new Kindles (the current Kindle Touch readers have a silver bezel, not the charcoal one found in the commercial — which looks great).
This isn’t something Apple would do, but that’s fine. No one says everyone has to do everything exactly as Apple would do it (no, not even me) — in fact, I think it’s good that Amazon has their own style. 
As a result, I find myself actually interested/excited for what they announce tomorrow. New Kindles? New Kindle Fires (though I disagree with Bryan Bishop, I think the commercial still only shows one size, as was previously reported by CNet — we’ll see)? A phone?!

It seems to me that unlike so many other Apple rivals, Amazon actually does a good job with buzz surrounding their events. Tonight, they debuted a commercial during the NFL kickoff that clearly teases out some new Kindles (the current Kindle Touch readers have a silver bezel, not the charcoal one found in the commercial — which looks great).

This isn’t something Apple would do, but that’s fine. No one says everyone has to do everything exactly as Apple would do it (no, not even me) — in fact, I think it’s good that Amazon has their own style. 

As a result, I find myself actually interested/excited for what they announce tomorrow. New Kindles? New Kindle Fires (though I disagree with Bryan Bishop, I think the commercial still only shows one size, as was previously reported by CNet — we’ll see)? A phone?!

Nilay Patel:

Multiple sources have confirmed to The Verge that Amazon is working on a smartphone that runs a variant of the Kindle Fire’s Android-based operating system, and we’re now hearing that the device will be shown to the press tomorrow.

Looks like the Android situation is about the get even more complicated…

Update: And recall that Bloomberg reported on this back in July.

Update 9/6: Nope.

So it looks like Amazon is entering the smartphone space as well — or at least thinking about it, if Tim Culpan, Olga Kharif and Ashlee Vance’s sources are correct.

And they likely are. This is the obvious next step after the Android-powered Kindle Fire. The one glaring problem would be patents — as in, Amazon likely has little or no mobile patents — but the article suggests that Amazon is already hard at work on resolving that potential roadblock.

The entire time I’m reading this news, I’m thinking: if they’re both being honest, doesn’t it seem obvious that Google and Amazon should team up in this endeavor? Think about it: Amazon’s strength is content and distribution — two of Google’s glaring weaknesses. Google strength is in mobile software/services and post-Motorola deal, mobile patents. Both have some hardware experience now, but neither yet holds a candle to Apple in that regard. But perhaps with their combined expertise…

And yet, it will never happen. While the two companies may not outright hate each other, post-Kindle Fire, they’re clearly at odds with one another. Google also just moved more forcefully into the developer cloud space that Amazon owns. And there are about a dozen other rivalry overlaps.

A joint effort by Amazon and Google to make a truly killer phone makes a lot of sense to me on paper. Sadly, that’s where it will stay.