Amazon is ready to challenge the iPhone. Again. Nah. Just kidding. Some tech writers think it could happen but it won’t. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7’s fire and fury issues probably killed using the name Fire in a smartphone again.
What Amazon could do is capitalize on the Alexa brand, offer up a less expensive smartphone that either Apple or Samsung’s premium line, and make it like an Echo you can carry around with an always-on Alexa. Would that be enough to challenge the iPhone again.
Nah. Just kidding. Alexa is Amazon’s Siri and while the listening and talking Echo devices are growing in numbers, only Amazon knows the numbers, everyone else who tracks such numbers just guesses what the numbers are. Meanwhile, Siri is running already on more than 1-billion mobile gadgets and getting better all the time.
Will Amazon’s new smartphone challenge iPhone again? Nope. Not gonna happen. Why not? Amazon has a following. True, but Amazon is an online retailer who’s boss, Jeff Bezos, fancies himself as a latter day Steve Jobs, sans hair, and a vision for the future; not to mention a penchant for losing money.
Sooner or later the stock market will realize that mud on a wall does not a technology company make, and prices at the nearest Whole Foods store will take another dive. Already Whole Foods has become like eBay; the place where technology gadgets that can’t be sold try to be bought.
If Amazon wants to beat Apple it can only be done one of two basic ways.
First, make a better mouse trap. Whatever Amazon’s smartphone is called– Fire, Alexa, or Jim– it must be better than the iPhone in most respectes; either Alexa’s listening and functionality, app selection, or whatever else is possible– and better to the point the original iPhone’s interface and usability was better than smartphones a decade ago.
For the same price as an iPhone. Much better, or same price.
Second, make the same mouse trap as Apple’s iPhone (not exactly a static target, either) but priced less. That’s the problem. Amazon’s Fire, Alexa, or, Jim– whatever it would be called– must be as good as an iPhone but still needs to be priced far less, otherwise, what’s the incentive to switch?
Lower price than an iPhone, but just as good in every way.
That’s how it works. Of course, the problem for the past decade is that Apple and the iPhone are not standing still and improve every year. Google’s Android is better each year, too, but Amazon’s Android fork does not have the same software availability, and carries the same baggage.
I’m sure Amazon could challenge iPhone again with an Alexa-powered Android-based smartphone, but it’s likely to sell about the same as Echo gadgets which sell less than Apple Watch.