Amazon & the Buying Phone

While Amazon’s new phone introduced yesterday received a mix of reviews, the commerce aspects of the phone can’t be ignored.

The Fire Phone has all the normal smartphone features, like a two-year contract (from AT&T), decent screen, good sound and all the other elements you might presume to find in a smartphone today.

As might be expected from Amazon, the phone also has an image recognition feature called Firefly that can identify 100 million items, facilitating a quick and easy purchase by the mobile shopper. Think QR codes, without needing the code, a long-time promise of phone camera recognition capability.

While the phone is unlikely to gain large market share against dominants Android and Apple, it does seem suitable for frequent Amazon buyers.

And that may be one of the places that Amazon missed the boat, at least in its initial mobile foray.



Amazon is clearly a bit tardy to the mobile game and the chance of convincing masses of owners of Android and Apple smartphones to switch is beyond an uphill battle.

Rather than pitching it as a smartphone like many others with some added features, maybe Amazon should have squarely stated that the phone is designed for Amazon purchasing aficionados.

Let’s face it: the phone is tailored to help regular Amazon buyers buy more. One-touch buying for Amazon Prime subscribers just became more mobile.

It makes it easier to make an Amazon purchase both for digital and physical goods. It is not just a feature of the phone; it is the reason for the phone.

While it faced some underwhelming reviews, the Amazon Fire is less likely to join the ranks of Samsung and Apple than it is to be considered a hardware add-on to Amazon.

It’s not likely to draw a relatively large number of people, but it can turn out to be a large number of Amazon sales.

2 comments about "Amazon & the Buying Phone".
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  1. Adam Hartung from spark partners, June 20, 2014 at 11:21 a.m.

    Good column. We'll all have to wait and see who buys this phone in a crowded market. However, came out with a review saying it does have the chance of being a game changer - for retail

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, June 20, 2014 at 11:28 a.m.

    Thank you. Yes, only time will tell.

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