Amazon Entering Crowded Smartphone Market


In September, Amazon will be entering the crowded smart phone market with a 3D smart phone. Amazon will face competition from HTC, Apple and Samsung. What distinguishes this smart phone from other smart phones is that this phone is going to have a 3D hologram. The phone creates a 3D-like image by using four cameras. There are four cameras embedded in the phone that focuses on the retina of the owner of the viewer and makes images appear to the viewer as three-dimensional. The image is very close to Princess Leia as a hologram talking to R2D2 in Star Wars: A New Hope.

Amazon has not said what operating system they will be using this new phone. The choices are Android or Windows operating or some system that the company might create for the phone.

There are some risks for Amazon entering the smart phone market. By September, the competition could be building phones that have hologram technology of their own. The additional risk is that Apple and Samsung seem to prone to sue competitors that violate their patents. Apple and Samsung have sued each other over patents and are still involved in a court case that deals with patents. Amazon appears to have the financial resources to deal with either risk.

The smart phone market is highly competitive. Samsung and Apple, together, make up 49 percent of the market. Additional companies are getting into the market every day. Blackberry and Motorola should have done well in this market as they were veterans of the regular mobile phone market. Motorola actually invented the cellphone, but it could not take part in this 21st-century version of its invention. Upstarts like Amazon should be cautious when they enter such a market.

There has been talk of Amazon entering the smart phone market for a long time. There was a rumor that if Amazon did make a smart phone, the company would be giving it away for free. It does seem true that Amazon is coming out with a smart phone, while the talk of the phone being free seems improbable.

Amazon did demonstrate this phone to potential developers in San Francisco and Seattle. These developers were informed that the company would tell people about the phone at the end of June. The company picked the end of September as when they would ship the headsets because they wanted to get ahead of the holiday shopping season.

The smart phone is not the only kind of hardware that this company is interested in selling. The company recently introduced to the public a Fire TV set-top box. This online retailer wants customers to buy a wand that will connect to their computer like a mouse and that should enable them to scan the bar codes of products at their homes so they can pay for the products online. The company came out with new e-book readers in 2013. Amazon is convinced that they have a unique approach to hardware. The company believes that they can make money from the services that are possible through Amazon instead making money off the hardware. Amazon is entering the competitive smart phone market with a phone that can make 3D holograms. There is not anything on the market like it.

By Tom Clark

Wall Street Journal
The Wire

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