Linked by Adam S on Wed 18th Jun 2014 18:22 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

At long last, Amazon.com has entered the mobile phone market, as expected. The impressively spec'ed "Fire Phone" stacks up with a 4.7" Gorilla Glass display, a 2.2Ghz CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 13 Megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture, certainly very competitive with today's Android flagships. Amazon has, quite wisely, included a number of hardware and software features and services that set it apart from the competition. The Fire Phone also boasts unlimited cloud storage of photos.

The Fire Phone has stereo speakers and a hardware camera button that help it stand out from the crowd. Prime customers? You all get the motherlode of content, so you'll be testing those speakers with access to a million songs recently made available via Amazon Prime Music. And if you're not a Prime member? Gotcha covered! You get one year of Prime for free (existing Prime users are extended a year).

Amazon has included their now-trademark Mayday Button, which provides 24/7 support. While this may seem unnecessary, take for example iOS 8, where there are literally dozens of new features to potentially confuse a user, or Android, where major version jumps change the entire UI of the phone. A dedicated support mechanism is a novel and likely welcome addition to the smart phone lineup.

A new service called Firefly that, much like Shazam, can not only listen, but "see." Optical recognition can help you identify (and subsequently purchase) books, TV shows, movies, games, music, and products. And the best part? There's an API for third parties to tie into it. This is going to be a very interesting feature.

Dynamic Perspective is billed by Amazon as "A custom-designed sensor system that responds to how you hold, view, and move your phone." It looks pretty amazing, and appears to give you not only standard gyroscopic control, but also a unique Z-axis subject distance, making for some very interesting effects and system responses to twisting, tilting, and peeking. You can read more about this feature and get the SDK on the Fire Phone developer's page.

The Fire Phone is available today for pre-order and is exclusive to AT&T, where it is free with AT&T Next, $199 on contract, or $649 off-contract.

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RE: ya gotta love
by haakin on Thu 19th Jun 2014 08:23 UTC in reply to "ya gotta love"
haakin
Member since:
2008-12-18

It seems that they are making profit now. According Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon.com ), Amazon's net income is US$ 274.0 million (2013).

Edit: Correcting rubbish English :-(

Edited 2014-06-19 08:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: ya gotta love
by unclefester on Thu 19th Jun 2014 23:52 in reply to "RE: ya gotta love"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Amazon is losing money hand over fist [Any company making less than 15% return on capital and 6% net profit isn't viable]. It has a price to earnings ration of 510:1 (15:1 is considered high for a retailer). Any 'profits' are merely accounting tricks. It can never be profitable because it deliberately sells products at a loss to create an artificially high marketshare.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: ya gotta love
by leos on Fri 20th Jun 2014 00:56 in reply to "RE[2]: ya gotta love"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

They know they can outlast their competition so they will continue to operate at a loss until the competition is squashed. Then they will raise prices and we'll all moan about how amazon is expensive and there are hardly any alternatives.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: ya gotta love
by Morgan on Fri 20th Jun 2014 17:49 in reply to "RE[2]: ya gotta love"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I can say that they make a ton of money nickel-and-diming their third party resellers. One of the two companies I work for does most of their online selling through Amazon, and while my company makes a decent profit, we are also handing over a good bit of money to Amazon for the privilege of listing our goods. Of course, that's a legitimate business expense, but it gets more expensive every quarter, it seems.

Amazon also tries to upsell us into their Fulfilled By Amazon and other programs, but the numbers always seem to end up in Amazon's favor rather than ours so we continue with our traditional listing format.

Of course, they have nothing on eBay; insertion fees, final value fees of up to 10% in some cases, and (eBay-owned) Paypal fees make them about the least attractive marketplace out there. It amazes me that it's legal for eBay to charge twice for using their service, then a third time for accepting payment. And woe betide the seller who refuses to use Paypal; you may as well close up shop as far as eBay is concerned, as your listings will receive zero traffic.

Edited 2014-06-20 17:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: ya gotta love
by unclefester on Fri 20th Jun 2014 03:03 in reply to "RE: ya gotta love"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The 'profit' is just an accounting trick. Unless a company is making net profits of >3% they are actually losing money in real terms.

Reply Parent Score: 3