It’s time – Amazon is prepped to enter the smartphone fray.
We suggested it back in October 2012, and now that day is finally here. Twenty months after discussing the pros and cons of Amazon entering the smartphone market, they have gone ahead and done it.
Well, almost. As of this blog post, all we know so far is that come June 18th, at the retailers’ Seattle headquarters, Amazon will launch a “new device”. This new device, of course, is going to be a smartphone. If it ends up being another tablet after this blog post, colour everyone here at M-BIZ Global extremely disappointed. Not only will this be Amazon’s first foray into the smartphone menagerie, but there are whispered reports that it won’t be any old device. We’re talking a 3D screen. We’re talking face recognition. It’s all very Minority Report.
Now, bearing in mind we are all jumping the gun quite considerably here, the rumour mill of the technology industry is basically its bread and butter. When was the last time a new iPhone was released without months of (both accurate and inaccurate, to make it more fun) rampant speculation and hearsay? It’s almost a shame that Amazon has announced this new device launch so soon to the actual reveal – months of madness and speculation have been effectively stolen from us. But, as of today, what do we know about the Amazon smartphone?
As expected, the Amazon smartphone’s selling points will rely heavily on ease of functionality with existing services, including instant videos, Kindle eBooks, and the Amazon App Store. Following that logic the Amazon smartphone is almost guaranteed to run on the Android OS, or some variation thereof. What does this mean for existing Android apps? Does this mean that apps previously purchased on the Amazon App Store will be transferable to the new device? Considering the next point we address in this blog, we reckon it is doubtful.
No, it probably won’t match up to the image you have in your head when you read “3D” (when has it ever?). It’s not going to be The Amazing Spiderman 3D, with Spidey flinging his webs realistically into your face. Whenever a smartphone has boasted 3D capabilities, it has usually failed – see the HTC Evo 3D and LG Optimus 3D. That leads us to believe that the savvy folk at Amazon have taken a far more subtle and user experience-enhancing approach, one we don’t immediately associate with the 3D concept currently. This feature could really revolutionise apps as we know them too; game developers will now have a whole new playground to navigate, one that isn’t saturated (yet). The creative opportunities are clearly abundant with this technology.
It might have face tracking
If you get a load of Amazon’s teaser video, it looks likely that the phone will offer some form of face recognition. The smartphone is bolstered with four front-facing cameras powered by Japanese company Omron, which will have the ability to scan faces and track head movements of users. Along with the 3D capabilities, this could be quite interesting. For the Amazon smartphone’s first form, the facial recognition tool may simply be the upgraded version of the iPhone 5S’ fingerprint unlock, personalising and privatising your phone in a way yet unseen. Or Amazon could be building a whole UI around the phone’s face recognition abilities. We will have to wait and see.
Would you consider buying the new Amazon smartphone? Do you think Amazon have the power to unsettle Samsung and Apple from the top of the pile? Let us know in the comments below.
This blog post was written by Amy Coen, Marketing Communications Assistant at M-BIZ Global.