Amazon smartphone to be announced in Seattle on 18 June

Amazon smartphone to be announced in Seattle on 18 JuneWe first reported on a potential Amazon smartphone all of three years ago, so it's almost a surprise to hear the thing is set to be officially launched later this month.

Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos will do the deed in Seattle on the 18th, meaning the latest attempt to make 3D work on mobile phones gets underway in less than two weeks.

The mobile 3D scene has been dead since LG's Optimus 3D and Optimus Pad flopped in early 2011, but Amazon's take on 3D is reportedly very different, involving a hologram-style 3D display that follows you around using a quartet of motion-tracking cameras on the front of the device.

Sounds good in theory, and Amazon has put out a 50-second teaser clip of people saying how wonderful it all is to crank up the anticipation factor – “it moved with me”, one lady says in amazement.

That went out with the original tweet announcing the event itself, then a second tweet was sent out saying if you're likely to be around Seattle on the 18th, you can request an invite. Good luck. That was accompanied by the image we've used above, which doesn't really give much of anything away.

While all that leaves little doubt that it's indeed a phone we're talking about here, Bloomberg seems to have pushed the boat out furthest in speculating exactly what Amazon's handset will offer. It quotes “a person with knowledge of the matter” as saying that while it'll be very much a different proposition to the Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon will follow a similar pricing strategy, looking for very little profit from sales of the device itself but expecting to cash in on the Amazon infrastructure it taps into.

Expect plenty more speculation in the next two weeks.

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11 comments

tapi  Jun. 5, 2014 at 15:29

It will have to be good to convince me.
Amazon devices have so far been all about service - introducing easier ways to get and consume content from amazon, without needing a potentially gimmicky USP.
I can't see the 3D being functional, from the point of view of offering easier or improved access to current services (possibly 3D films from prime streaming? but a long shot and pointless on a small device), books won't be improved, navigating the store won't be, getting help won't be, 3D won't push you towards EC2... etc etc.

I imagine if gaming is the idea, that it would have to be implemented specifically for the device and who's going to do that given (a) the potential number of users (b) the subset who may use the device for games (c) the further subset that would be interested in 3D games?

And then, there's the complexity added for such a niche feature (What happens when one or other of the trackers fails, or is blocked?)
All in all, meh, but happy to be surprised on this. And hope that the 3D is one of those things commentators have been fixated upon but is actually a fairly unobtrusive feature in an otherwise good device.

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 5, 2014 at 15:59

The disadvantage of being tied up to Amazon this and Amazon that would
have to be balanced out by some pretty fr*gging hardware

Treab  Jun. 5, 2014 at 19:43

you just have to moan don't you fingerless ;)

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 5, 2014 at 19:51

you just have to moan don't you fingerless ;)

And you are jealous. You have to drug people who moan, while I get paid to do the moaning :p

Stelph  Jun. 6, 2014 at 12:33

It will have to be good to convince me.
Amazon devices have so far been all about service - introducing easier ways to get and consume content from amazon, without needing a potentially gimmicky USP.



I think they are also about selling high spec equipment at lower prices than expected (by aiming to make the deficit up on content sales) that wow the average user with what they are able to afford, however with Android tablets (and now Windows 8 tablets with the announcement of the Toshiba Encore 7) also pushing into seriously affordable, well specced products.

Amazon need to respond somewhat and so a flashy, gimmicky feature like "fake" 3D would fit the ticket.

tapi  Jun. 6, 2014 at 18:56

sounds reasonable Stelph.

Just wonder what the reasoning is though - as you say, they sell good quality low as a loss leader as it's an entry to captive sales. Kindle, Kindle Fire, etc - what income stream are they missing out on with a 3D phone that would bring in (or even retain) sales? Digital music possibly, Digital Video less so, Apps/Games?
As I say, I'm open minded, and there may be some wow factor, but can't see a phone been so much of a draw that it will offset development and subsidy costs.

Stelph  Jun. 12, 2014 at 12:20

sounds reasonable Stelph.

Just wonder what the reasoning is though - as you say, they sell good quality low as a loss leader as it's an entry to captive sales. Kindle, Kindle Fire, etc - what income stream are they missing out on with a 3D phone that would bring in (or even retain) sales? Digital music possibly, Digital Video less so, Apps/Games?
As I say, I'm open minded, and there may be some wow factor, but can't see a phone been so much of a draw that it will offset development and subsidy costs.


It could be that the Kindle tablet isnt taking off as well as they had hoped, I am surprised to see just how many times the new HDX etc seems to be on sale (currently 20% off), it could be they want to try the mobile phone route to see if that's a better route into customers hands. Plus mobiles are more easily to hand when out and about, better chance to push to the front when shopping online if its the amazon mobile they are using

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 12, 2014 at 12:35

sounds reasonable Stelph.

Just wonder what the reasoning is though - as you say, they sell good quality low as a loss leader as it's an entry to captive sales. Kindle, Kindle Fire, etc - what income stream are they missing out on with a 3D phone that would bring in (or even retain) sales? Digital music possibly, Digital Video less so, Apps/Games?
As I say, I'm open minded, and there may be some wow factor, but can't see a phone been so much of a draw that it will offset development and subsidy costs.


It could be that the Kindle tablet isnt taking off as well as they had hoped, I am surprised to see just how many times the new HDX etc seems to be on sale (currently 20% off), it could be they want to try the mobile phone route to see if that's a better route into customers hands. Plus mobiles are more easily to hand when out and about, better chance to push to the front when shopping online if its the amazon mobile they are using


Same here in Ireland. Even Argos who overprice ALL tabs and phone have the Fires on special offer - practically all the time.
I wonder what real sales figures are for Android tabs in general. And of those that are sold: how often are they actually used. Reason I wonder: I don't know a single person who uses theirs....

Stelph  Jun. 12, 2014 at 12:43

sounds reasonable Stelph.

Just wonder what the reasoning is though - as you say, they sell good quality low as a loss leader as it's an entry to captive sales. Kindle, Kindle Fire, etc - what income stream are they missing out on with a 3D phone that would bring in (or even retain) sales? Digital music possibly, Digital Video less so, Apps/Games?
As I say, I'm open minded, and there may be some wow factor, but can't see a phone been so much of a draw that it will offset development and subsidy costs.


It could be that the Kindle tablet isnt taking off as well as they had hoped, I am surprised to see just how many times the new HDX etc seems to be on sale (currently 20% off), it could be they want to try the mobile phone route to see if that's a better route into customers hands. Plus mobiles are more easily to hand when out and about, better chance to push to the front when shopping online if its the amazon mobile they are using


Same here in Ireland. Even Argos who overprice ALL tabs and phone have the Fires on special offer - practically all the time.
I wonder what real sales figures are for Android tabs in general. And of those that are sold: how often are they actually used. Reason I wonder: I don't know a single person who uses theirs....


Exactly, Androids got great traction in smartphones but I wonder how well they have taken off on tablets, probably better than it was but id guess iOS still wins out. Plus I suspect people update their tablets a lot less frequently than they do their mobiles as its a "second "device

With so many other options for cheap and good tablets now they may be starting to struggle even more to get traction so switching to mobile means a greater potential market (everyone has a phone more or less) and a market more interested in switching

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 12, 2014 at 12:47

Agree. I find Android on tablets still a bit yucky, tbh...
Even on the One M8 I find some apps less than aesthetically pleasing.
E.g. try the EXCELLENT Snappseed on an iPhone or iPad, and then use it
on an Android phone. Catastrophically fiddly and inaccurate controls. And image preview doesn't represent finished and saved image. And Google bought the makers a while back LOL

tapi  Jun. 18, 2014 at 14:29

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