There was plenty of speculation going on around the smartphone from Amazon, as the company had tablet offerings early on in the race, but had been slow in releasing a smartphone. On June 18, Amazon finally announced the device, called the Fire Phone, and showed off its various fancy features. On July 25, the Fire Phone launched. Of course, having waited so long, the Fire Phone is entering a smartphone marketplace that’s very different from several years ago, and it’s also going head to head with entrenched brands Apple and Samsung . The Fire Phone may be a high-end device, but there are a number of things that Amazon did wrong with the device.
As mentioned, Amazon’s coming into a tough environment. Apple and Samsung have already claimed a dominance of the smartphone market that others are having trouble stepping into. BlackBerry had a strong position in the mobile market but was swept to the margins, and when it came out with a smartphone equal to the competition, it couldn’t gain much ground. Microsoft was slow to come out with the Windows Phone, and it’s likely been regretting that reality as it struggles to get into the game — and it’s a big brand. Amazon may have had success with the Kindle tablets and be a big name, but Microsoft and BlackBerry show that big names and previous success don’t ensure future success in the rough and tumble smartphone market.
Then there’s the matter of the Fire Phone being an AT&T exclusive. A deal like that may get AT&T to help promote the device and ensure a certain level of sales for Amazon, but it immediately limits the number of potential buyers for the device. Due to that, it may be hard to get very much early adoption. While the strategy worked for Apple’s iPhone when it first launched, the market is a very different place, and this move could stifle the Fire Phone