No results found

Amazon: The Phone of the Future?

Amazon: The Phone of the Future?

Amazon is set to unveil an innovative new product on Wednesday, June 18, and rumor has it the device may be Amazon’s first attempt at a phone.

But reports are circulating that the device is no ordinary phone; it could be a smartphone with 3D interface that moves as the user tilts their head.

If all this buzz is more than mere hearsay, it could create an incredible opportunity for Amazon and marketers alike. The Amazon phone has the chance to complete Amazon's digital enablement of the consumer. If we look at what's been happening with Apple, Microsoft, Roku, Netflix, and others (e.g., Aereo), many of those companies are competing for eyeballs in the living room. However, Amazon has traditionally competed for a different role -- owning the household.

As a purveyor of digital and physical goods and services (including the recent Prime music service), Amazon has a unique capability to up-sell and cross-sell against personalized purchase and digital consumption history (including purchasing intent via wish lists, registries, etc.) but also to provide competitive features and pricing by bundling and blending costs for the greater objectives: engaging existing customers and attracting new customers.

The smartphone form factor fills a gap for Amazon, as they can now truly embrace the mobile lifestyle of the consumer in the home as well as outside the home. Imagine a consumer who is comparing outdoor grills while shopping at a physical store. The consumer could have the ability to not only comparison shop (e.g., scan the barcode and look up product details and pricing to purchase online), but Amazon can offer relevant goods (e.g., grilling how-to books, aprons, knives), provide personalized how-to videos, and even market ancillary services ("Try AmazonFresh now and get a six pack of prime steaks for grilling!").

With its rumored cameras, the Amazon phone could be a very personal measure of consumer attention, engagement and reaction to products and advertisements -- for both visual and digital goods.

With the introduction of the very ordinary Fire TV companion device, the Amazon Phone can also become an integrated "remote control" for the living room, creating a digital link between mobile devices and the television -- competing with Apple (AirPlay) and Google (Chromecast) -- but extending beyond video to commerce. By extending their platform from desktop to tablet to companion device and now to a smartphone, the Amazon ecosystem becomes more expansive and richer in opportunity not just for consumers but for the developer ecosystem, one which Amazon will cultivate to encourage Amazon/Fire OS optimized experiences.

What do you think? Will Amazon's potential entry into the world of phones be a game changer?