After the poor reception that the Amazon Fire phone received following its launch in late 2014, you might think that Amazon might be turned off from the smartphone market altogether. But according to a new report, you’d be wrong.
According to The Information, Amazon is interested in partnering with Android device makers to integrate its services in new smartphones. Amazon already has deals to preload many of its apps on Android smartphones, but the mega retailer is apparently interested in deeper integration than that, including software that'd convince consumers to sign up for Amazon Prime. By the sound of things, Amazon basically wants hardware partners to make phones similar to Amazon’s Fire products.
Amazon has released a number of Android-powered devices to date — tablets and the lone Fire phone — but the software on those products doesn’t really resemble the Android that many consumers are used to. There are no Google services or apps like Gmail and Play Music and no Play Store to download apps from. Instead, the Fire products are loaded with Amazon’s music and video offerings, and the Amazon Appstore. Today’s report makes no mention of exactly how deeply Amazon wants its services integrated with its partner’s hardware, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Amazon wanted a similar experience to its Fire hardware.
Considering Amazon’s size, it’s certainly possible that some Android device maker will jump at the chance to partner with the retailer and benefit from the exposure that such a deal would bring. The question is, would a new Amazon-centric smartphone do better than the Fire phone? One of the big complaints about the Fire phone was its high launch price, but considering how competitive the mid-range has become in the smartphone market lately, it might be tough for Amazon’s new phone to do well even if it did have an affordable price tag.
Do you think a new Amazon-focused smartphone could do well? If so, what features would it need to sell?