If rumors prove correct, Amazon
will unveil a smartphone at a high-profile June 18 event in Seattle. The big question is, why? As pointed out by many a publication over the past few days, numerous companies have plunged into the smartphone space and failed. For every Apple
iPhone or Samsung
Galaxy S that achieves blockbuster sales and critical acclaim, another dozen fade from the market after leaving barely a ripple in the popular consciousness. If Amazon launches a smartphone, pouring money into an extensive marketing campaign won’t necessarily guarantee success; those other failures enjoyed massive backing, as well. (That being said, Amazon can advertise the phone on its absurdly well-trafficked website, giving it an advantage denied other smartphone vendors.) Click here for mobile development jobs.
According to a new article in The New York Times
, Amazon’s willing to take such enormous risks because a smartphone will help it sell more products via its gargantuan online store. In theory, a mobile device would allow customers in the midst of their daily routines to order products with a few finger-taps, allowing Amazon to push back against Google and other tech companies exploring similar instant-gratification territory. But a smartphone also plays into Amazon’s plans for the digital world. Over the past several years, the company has become a popular vendor of cloud services
and used that base to expand into everything from tablets to a growing mobile-app
ecosystem. A smartphone could prove a crucial portal for all those services. If an Amazon smartphone proves a hit, however, it could become a game-changer for mobile developers
, opening up a whole new market for apps and services. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has succeeded in the digital space largely by opening up various platforms—whether Kindle self-publishing or the Amazon app store—to third-party wares. It’ll be interesting to see whether he does something similar with the smartphone.