After the success of its Kindle Fire tablet, it should come as no real surprise that Amazon has decided to try its hand in the world of smartphones. The internet giant has been moving slowly for some time now, developing its own music matching service, purchasing 3D mapping company UpNext and, obviously, building the foundation for a solid mobile ecosystem with the Kindle Fire.
Probably the major reason we can get behind Amazon’s decision is its cloud service. Currently Amazon has one of the largest and most variably functional cloud services in the world. Where this may have not particularly worked to Amazon’s advantage a few years ago, it’s a crucial tick in the “why this could work” category for Amazon. It’s been well known for some time now that apps are an extremely important for any OS to thrive, but cloud services are quickly catching up.
Clouds aren’t yet so much of a deal maker or breaker in terms of deciding what new device to get, but within a year or two we expect to see that change. Already both Apple and Google are pushing their own cloud services. Microsoft even completely revamped its Windows Phone ecosystem to function as part of its new Windows suite, so much so that current users will not even be able to upgrade their devices to Windows Phone 8. Microsoft did this because they, like Amazon, realise that the smartphone game is currently changing rules to focus on not just what you can do on your smartphone, but how your smartphone ties in with every other piece of technology in your life.
On top of all of this, Amazon is already a well know and trusted global brand. More than that, it’s almost synonymous with online shopping, perhaps second only to ebay in the eyes of mainstream culture. But where ebay has a reputation for cheap deals and second-hand goods or products of questionable quality, Amazon is simply seen as the one-stop shop for technological online shopping. With this reputation already entrenched it’s foreseeable that Amazon will have a much easier time breaking in to the increasingly cloud-centric world mobile market than just about any other brand that came before.
Just to be clear, what we’re hearing is that this will not be an Android device. Unlike the Kindle Fire, word on the web is that Amazon is planning to build its own entire ecosystem from the ground up. It’s a bold move and while we’ve already listed a bunch of reasons why it could work, the cards are still seriously stacked against Amazon.
Breaking in to a market that has been ‘cutting the fat’ for three years now is going to be extremely difficult. Where once we had iOS, Android, WebOS, Symbian, Meego, Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS we’re now really just seeing competition between iOS, Android and WP. WebOS has (sadly) gone the way of the dodo, BlackBerry is seriously struggling and Symbian has been thrown out by its own creators in favour of Windows Phone. As we mentioned before Windows Phone itself is undergoing an entire reboot just to be able to compete with the next generation of cloud-centric devices.
What, then, are the chances that a new contender will be able to do what all of these failed and failing OSes were incapable of? Slim, but not zero. Out of every company on Earth Amazon probably has the best chance of breaking in to the market with a new product. It’s media and literature libraries already rival that of Apple, its cloud service is almost unparalleled and it has already demonstrated that it can make a solid device and market it well towards a target audience.
We’re very interested to see what Amazon manages to come up with, should all of this talk turn out to be true. Like we always say: more competition means more choices and when there are more choices the customer always wins.