Tomorrow, June 18th, is the day that Amazon will finally announce their own phone. Rumors of this device have been appearing in the news for over two years. Amazon has popular e-readers, tablets, and most recently they added a set-top box. A smartphone seems like the obvious next step. After releasing the teaser video below we can all but confirm a phone is coming. What should you expect from it? Here are five things.
One of the rumors that has picked up steam lately claims that the Amazon phone will have a 3D display and UI. This rumor was backed up with some evidence when a photo of the device leaked and revealed four cameras on the front of the device. Amazon’s 3D interface is said to be much different from those that HTC and LG tried. The cameras on the front of the device will track your eyes and head movement to alter the UI. In the teaser video several people mention how it “moved with me.”
We’re not sure yet how Amazon will use this technology, but the reactions in the video show that it is visually impressive. It could just be a fun gimmick, but hopefully Amazon is using this technology for something more useful. Another important aspect will be how the constant eye and face tracking impact battery life. The 3D features are by far the most intriguing aspect of this device.
This one is pretty obvious. Since this is an Amazon device you can expect a big focus on purchasing stuff from their store. There has been speculation that Amazon will unveil a brand new shopping interface that takes advantage of the 3D effects. It is said that Amazon feels a phone is necessary to “close any remaining gap between the impulse to buy and the completed act.”
We’re not sure how a dedicated Amazon phone will make it even easier to purchase things. Every device you own can already access Amazon.com or use their mobile apps. Their apps can even scan barcodes so you can quickly purchase items. How will this new device make it even easier to buy things? We are very interested to find out.
The main specs of this device reside in the display and front cameras. Other than the 3D technology there is not a lot going on in this device. Reports suggest it will have a 4.7-inch 720p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and 2GB of RAM. These specs will place the phone squarely in the mid-range category, just like with most of the Kindle Fire tablets. Amazon is not interested in fighting the spec battle. They just want to make it easy for people to buy stuff from them, which leads us right into the next thing to expect.
Amazon always prices their products very competitively. With the Kindle Fire tablets they changed the game and forced everyone else to charge less. They have used ads to cut prices of the Kindle e-readers, and they have even experimented with payment plans for devices. We expect the Amazon phone will also be priced competitively, but a recent rumor says it will only be available from AT&T.
Another thing to take into consideration is Amazon Prime. They have always treated Prime subscribers very well with free movies, TV shows, and now music. Could we see them throw discounts at Prime subscribers for this phone too? If the device really does make buying things easy it would be in their best interest to get it in the hands of Prime users. We could also see them include a free year of Prime to new buyers. One thing we know is that this device will be priced to kill.
The last thing to expect is something different. This could be the unique 3D interface, or something else. The invites to this event were very strange. CEO Jeff Bezos included copies of his favorite childhood book, Mr. Pine’s Purple House, and said “the world is a better place when things are a little bit different.” What exactly does he have up his sleeves? Whatever it is, consider us very interested.
What do you expect to see from Amazon tomorrow? Are you interested in an Amazon phone? Do you think they will announce anything that surprises you?
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- Check out the Amazon Kindle Fire forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.