Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Kindle Phone Will Ruin Amazon

I had a couple of quick e-mail exchange with Dave the Mobile Sage and he seems to think that the only want Amazon’s phone could really have an impact is if it is able to truly disrupt the wireless market – like provide free data or something.  I agree.  However, only Amazon can try to pull something like that off and get one or two carriers onboard.

But I highly doubt it.  In fact, if Amazon doesn’t offer something vastly different and is another Android phone, it will flop badly and potentially damaging the Kindle brand.  Worse, Amazon’s whole ecosystem could be taken down with it.  Maybe even the rest of the company.

Here’s the thing.  Amazon’s Kindle phone will likely run a forked Android OS – that is to say, like the Fire and the Nook, all done san Google’s blessing.  Right now, the Fire is running an Android 2.3 variant while Google is doing a great job pushing out Android 4 and 4.1  I think Google recognizes the importance of not fragmenting the market.

So, true Android devices will continue to run on an OS that is a couple of  years better than what Amazon’s Kindle Fire and phone will sport.  It might be okay with some folks but anyone who knows what’s up will realize this and pick a HTC or Samsung device that runs true Android OS.

On top of that, Amazon is already pushing the Fire over competitors and it will do the same with its own phone.  Carriers might not care but handset makers most definitely will.

Amazon’s Fire had some success during the Christmas quarter of 2011 but with Nexus 7, Windows 8 Surface, and quite possibly a $200-$300 iPad, it will have a lot of hard fight ahead.  A handset will only be a dstraction for J Bezos and the rest of the company.

If even the phone is free, so are many other Android phones.  The iPhone and Windows phones can be had for $50-$100.  Just ain’t no room for Amazon right now.

Trust me, I love competition.  I’m rooting for a RIM resurgence but Amazon’s Kindle phone simply would not provide any at all.  I’m gonna call it now.  It’ll be a failed embarrassment of a device.

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