If rumors are to be believed, Amazon, which is a well-known online retail store, may launch its own range of smartphones sometime in the near future. But is it a feasible option?
People Don’t Buy Devices For The Content
Remember the Kindle Fire from Amazon which was launched not so long ago? It was a tablet version of the company’s eBook reader using which users can enjoy content from Amazon viz eBooks, TV Shows, movie rentals, PDF documents, web bookmarks and music. Some of these contents are exclusive to the Kindle Fire device and are not available on the competitor tablets/smartphones in the market.
But that’s it. For $199, all you get is an ordinary tablet only focused on offering content available on Amazon; the kind of tablet that doesn’t even have a camera, microphone, GPS, Bluetooth or USB slot and is not sleek and speedy like other tablets on the market. Not to mention that it doesn’t have basic things such as an in-built calendar or note-pad. I wonder, how did it even qualify as a tablet in the first place?
Moreover, users can very well enjoy Amazon content on their iPad or Android devices and hence, there is no need for a device which has been specially made to accommodate content. After all, it’s the device that sells the content and not vice versa.
The Already Existing Smartphones Have Loyal Followers
Having an exhaustive mobile ecosystem is the latest trend followed by most smartphone companies. A mobile ecosystem consists of a set of apps, services and a sense of uniformity across similar set of devices based on the same operating system. In this way, when a company sells a smartphone, it also sells apps and services to be used with the device, which add to its revenues.
This can be best exemplified by the Apple ecosystem which is made up of – the iTunes Store, a set of native and web based apps, devices like iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad, the iOS (operating system), and the iCloud service.
So, the users need not go to separate places to avail these facilities and become comfortable with a certain mobile ecosystem. Therefore, it will be tough for Amazon to convince them to switch their base and transfer their content from one device to another.
Launching A Smartphone Will Distract Amazon From Its Core Business
Often, many companies sufferhuge losses, when they try to venture into different product categories other than their core business areas. For example, take the case of Dell or Palm and even Hewlett Packard which tried to foray into the smartphone market but weren’t successful; in fact, many of us don’t even know that they had even launched smartphones or recall the names of those devices. Therefore, Amazon should take a lesson from these companies; it should not use its resources to take down the iOS and Android based devices and instead, focus on its online retail business.
The smartphone market is dominated by Android and iOS based devices and hence, if Amazon tries to foray into it, the chances of its success will be very bleak. Most of the people own either iOS, Android (and to an extent Blackberry and Symbian) mobiles and so do their friends, families and colleagues. Amazon, which has made a reputation as a retailer and eBook reader, will therefore, find it quite a challenge to overpower these existing devices and establish its smartphone.