Industry Analyst Jeff Kagan: New Amazon.com Fire Phone Smartphone

“AT&T Mobility appears to be the exclusive carrier. FirePhone can be successful even if they don’t win against Apple and Samsung,” says Technology Industry Analyst Jeff Kagan.

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Jeff KAGAN, Industry Analyst

'AT&T Mobility appears to be the exclusive carrier. FirePhone can be successful even if they don’t win against Apple and Samsung,' says Technology Industry Analyst Jeff Kagan

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) June 18, 2014

Today, Amazon.com announced their new Fire Phone smartphone, says Bloomberg on the Dallas News, June 18.

Industry analyst Jeff Kagan offers comment.

“This Fire Phone is less about competing with iPhone and Galaxy and more about helping Amazon.com continuing to build loyalty, solidifying customer relationships and selling more stuff,” says Wireless Analyst Jeff Kagan.

“The question is, a few years from now, will this Fire Phone be remembered as one of the wireless industries key moments like when the first Apple iPhone or Google Android or Samsung Galaxy was introduced? Or will this not be as big a smartphone competitor, but another way for Amazon.com customers to shop?” asks Kagan.

“AT&T Mobility is the Amazon.com exclusive carrier which expands their exclusive Kindle relationship to this Fire Phone. This reminds me of AT&T being the exclusive carrier for the iPhone a few short years ago. I don’t get the sense that this is the same kind of event, but the upside for AT&T is still quite strong with this deal,” says Kagan.

On the AT&T web site it says the Fire Phone will cost $199.99 for 32 GB, and $299.99 for 64 GB, based on a two-year contract.

“Whether it will be successful like the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, and not like the Facebook smartphone is the big question?” asks Principal analyst Kagan. “It’s important to note that this Fire Phone does not have to win the competitive battle with the iPhone or Galaxy. That’s not the purpose. The purpose is simply to give customers more ways to buy stuff from Amazon.com, like with the Kindle.”

“Not every new smartphone is a big hit. However I think Amazon.com will be successful, at least to a point. They will succeed with one slice of the pie, their tens of millions of existing Kindle customers will buy plenty of these over the first year. Then we’ll have to see if they can expand beyond that first slice,” says Technology analyst Kagan.

“I think there is a segment of the marketplace which prefers their Kindle to an iPad or Galaxy tablet and these may be the first customers who are interested in the new Amazon.com smartphones. The next logical question is how many customers?” asks Tech analyst Kagan.

“The next question is, how can Amazon expand their market? Today most people who want a smartphone already have a smartphone, so Amazon.com will be trying to get iPhone or Android users to switch,” says Kagan.

“3D is another question. Will this be a real success, or just a fad that doesn’t amount to much? It’s cool to look at and play with for a few minutes. What happens beyond that we’ll just have to wait and see,” says Kagan.

“I think this Fire Phone will give Amazon.com the ability to grow in television, music, radio and so on, more quickly. Amazon.com Kindle customers spend more money and buy more content than customers of other hardware like the iPhone and Galaxy,” says Kagan.

“I expect these new Amazon.com Fire Phones to follow the same model as the Kindle. I don’t see Amazon.com making money on the device, but they will use it to get customers to spend money at their site. And Amazon.com is a massive online store where customers can buy almost anything,” says Kagan.

“In the short-term this will be a success. As far as long-term we’ll just have to keep our eyes on them and see. I don’t see this being a failure like the Facebook phone. Amazon.com already has a base of Kindle customers. A percentage of that group will make up the first wave of new smartphone customers. They will be successful, the question is how successful,” says Kagan.

“However winning in the highly competitive smartphone market is much different than winning in Amazon.com’s traditional markets. They are successful with their Kindle. Can they also be successful with this Fire Phone? We’ll see,” says Kagan.

About Jeff Kagan

Jeff Kagan is an industry analyst, consultant, columnist, author, speaker and futurist. He shares his opinion in many ways over 25 years. Helping to understand our changing world, technology, industry and competition.

He is regularly quoted by the media. He offers comment to reporters and journalists on wireless, telecom, Internet, cable television, IPTV and other tech news stories.

Kagan is known as a Technology Analyst, Tech Analyst, Wireless Analyst, Smartphone Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Telecom Industry Analyst and Principal Analyst.

Reporters: Jeff Kagan sends comments by email to reporters and the media. If you would like to be added to this email list please send request by email.

Companies and Clients: Contact Jeff Kagan to discuss briefing him or becoming a consulting client.

Contact: Jeff Kagan by email at jeff(at)jeffKAGAN(dot)com or by phone at 770-579-5810.

Visit his website: at jeffKAGAN.com to learn more.

Full Disclosure: Jeff Kagan is an independent industry analyst. He offers comment to the media on breaking news, announcements, technologies and the changing marketplace. He also writes columns and press releases offering comment, and is an author and speaker. He also works on a consulting basis sharing his opinion.

Twitter: Follow him at @jeffkagan