App Marketing Conversations: The Amazon Phone
One of the topics discussed in this App Marketing Conversations was whether or not Amazon would introduce a new & disruptive business model to differentiate their product in the competitive mobile market. According to more reports, they are reportedly planning to provide “Prime Data” as that differentiator.
Ryan: Good morning and welcome to another edition of app marketing conversations, I am Ryan with GameHouse. As always I’m here with Robi… Robi Ganguly of Apptentive.
Robi: Good morning
Ryan: I almost said Robi-Apptentive. And Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ, how are you guys doing this morning?
Ian: Doing well.
Ryan: So in the shock of all shocks, something that no one saw coming, ever. Especially in Seattle…
Ryan: … no one has ever talked about this; Amazon… their phone was leaked.
Ian: Oh my god, they have a phone?
Ryan : Who knew? So it’s… it sounds very interesting, it broke this week by Boy Genius Report I believe. With an expected launch date of the holiday season. Some really interesting things about it, 4.7 screen, kind of all the hardware stuff that you would expect. Some pseudo 3d which without the need for glasses which is pretty interesting. But hardware is hardware, there’s always going to be these sorts of things. So my question to you guys, well first is what was your initial reaction?
Robi: I barely read the article and I moved on.
Ryan : Okay. Well why?
Robi: Nothing about it seemed like anything that was life changing to me. It was Amazon was releasing a phone, it didn’t seem like they were changing the business model, it didn’t seem like they went ten x on the technology. So that was like they were basically going to take a Kindle Fire and port it down into a Chrome.
Ryan : Okay.
Ian: So I saw that one of the highlights was that it had six cameras and I was like,” This is wrong.” That doesn’t seem right, what are you going to do with six cameras? But anyhow, I’m probably wrong but that just… immediately felt like somebody had been gamed in the week.
Robi: I assuming the six cameras have something to do with 3d.
Ian: What does that do to battery life? That’s why I was like, my phone doesn’t last through the day and it’s one of the latest phones. What are you doing with six cameras that’s going to last through the day from a battery perspective?
Robi: I’m very interested to do like this with my phone though and have things actually happen.
Ian: I was thinking more captain Picard but whatever.
Ryan: Okay. Well so let’s take a different approach, can… will it be successful for Amazon?
Robi: I’m not sure if it will be successful for Amazon? I really… based on what I know I have no idea whether or not. Like Amazon is successful in the tablet market, but they are kind of nowhere compared to Apple and Samsung or whoever, Google.
Robi: But they are successful for their own right…
Ryan : Yeah.
Robi: … I’m trying to feel like the same thing is going to happen.
Ian: I think that they have the most competitive advantages in terms of selling a phone over anybody in the world. So they’ve seen everybody whose bought a phone through them. They’ve seen what prices they’ve paid, like what feature choices seemed to be important at different price points. And then they’ve created this whole ecosystem of services behind the tablets today that are easily accessible to the mobile phone. Like a mini day and like giving them proprietary app store and doing promoted downloads. So it just seems like they have all the advantages you would need if you are going to launch a phone.
If you’re some other company that’s not Amazon, then you’re way behind the ball in comparison to them.
Robi: I was really hoping that Christopher had this post a few years ago where he made this really interesting observation that Amazon is all about the content right? That’s where they’ve traditionally made money, that’s where they continue to make money. They did a great job with their tablets and making them cheap. I was really hoping and he made the point that essentially if that holds true in the same way that they made whisper sync free over 3g for kindle. They should have subsidized the entire contract work… like value right? And not just of a phone but of the voice and data plans as well.
Ryan: Well they might.
Robi: Well I guess they could… still do, that’s true. So I’m hoping… potentially even more so than any of the technology that they come out with is that they come out with some better business model.
Ian: Amazon Prime plus Telco.
Robi: Yeah exactly.
Ian: You can see something like that too and by the way, you pay us $56 a month and you get prime, you get unlimited voice, text, web and your phone is $59.
Ryan: You get a prime instant video that you can watch anytime you want on the phone.
Ryan : Yeah I think to those points and your point especially, I think the only challenge that they… the advantage they don’t have is the Google service matrix right?
Ryan : And so not having Google maps is kind of a big deal right? And not having a viable replacement or option for that is probably going to be an issue.
Ian: They have ways I guess, right? Which is going to get most of the Google technology.
Ryan : Yeah, yeah.
Ian: It’s going to be interesting..
Ryan: So… and I think these things are… especially with Amazon and Google and Apple, their whole thing is what is best for the customer? Or at least they claim that that’s what it is, but in lots of these cases, what is best for the customer is not what they actually do, right? So overall your response is…
Ian: I don’t care about the technology; I want to see a business model.
Robi: I’m pretty sure I would buy one.
Ryan : You’re pretty sure you’ll buy one?
Robi: Yeah, yeah, I just trust them enough.
Ryan : And I think the interesting thing for Amazon… well great customer service, everyone loves Amazon and they have distribution which is one of the things that’s hurt Google in the past is not having like direct consumer distribution. Amazon has that…
Ryan: … so it will be an interesting holiday season especially as the Samsung Galaxy S5 rolls out and the iPhone 6 and whatever that looks like. Anything else to add here? Other than the shock and awe of an Amazon phone?
Robi: Six f*cking… I don’t understand six cameras.
Ryan: Well let’s ask the obvious question, should app marketers rush to support it?
Ian: I don’t think there is much that you have to rush for, except for maybe whatever they’re doing on the 3g thing which you can’t do much about anyways.
Robi: I don’t… I mean we’ve never seen anybody rushing their support, one of these platforms in the past three years make good money off of it so I don’t think so.
Ryan: Yep. And how does that impact their ability to sell devices over the holiday season?
Robi: I don’t think… I don’t think it matters right? I think they’ll sell as many as they can make. They’re ability to put you on the front page and just sell the crap out of everything, they’ve done that with the kindle, kindle fire, fire TV, all it is, like they’ll sell as many as they can make.
Ian: By the way I think the phone is way cooler than the dash.
Robi: Oh really? I actually think the dash is super interesting.
Ian: I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why it’s not an app.
Robi: That’s what I don’t understand.
Ian: I don’t know.
Ryan: I can see that potentially they don’t want other people, IE Apple and Google to know what… they don’t want Google sharing the data.
Robi: Oh that’s fair.
Ryan: Maybe but I would guess they would have encrypted it. That’s one of the things I would come up with.
Ryan: Okay. Well thanks very much guys. Thank you for watching, make sure to like this video, subscribe to our channel and check out the other segments from me and Robi.