by Jin Kim
The Verge: Rumor has it HTC will build Amazon’s smartphone. Everyone’s getting into the smartphone business, but Amazon has a very good reason to. From reading articles online and books offline I understand Amazon to have three main goals: broadest availability of products customers want, the lowest prices, and fastest deliveries.
Millions of Amazon customers already use computers to purchase all sorts of products, for almost always the lowest prices, and if they are Prime subscribers get them delivered in two days. Amazon also launched Local Express Delivery in 11 cities. For example, if you live in New York City and order something by 8:30 am you can expect same day delivery up until 8 pm. That’s fast. With a Kindle tablet you can do the same thing without being in front of the computer. Buy movies, music, or Kindle ebooks and you get instant gratification. Sure you can do the same thing with an iPad or an Android tablet, but Amazon made it easiest to buy and consume on its Kindle tablets.
Not everyone needs a tablet, and even if you own a tablet you don’t always have it with you. But almost everyone needs a mobile phone and almost everyone has their mobile phones with them or nearby at all times.
Imagine it’s Friday. You’re on the train going into Lower Manhattan looking over the East River. You’re daydreaming about the mountains and suddenly you remember you forgot to buy heavy duty wool socks for your camping trip over the weekend. You pull out your Amazon smartphone. It’s 8:15 am; you still have 15 minutes. You type into the search bar right on the front screen, tap the Prime Eligible button, the four stars and up average customers reviews, find the one you want and tap 1-Click. You’re done with a couple of minutes to spare. When you get home that evening those socks will be waiting for you. Combine this shopping experience with a user interface specifically designed to help you purchase what you want—movies, TV shows, music, ebooks, etc.—, consume what you’ve purchased anytime anywhere, and that’s the power of an Amazon smartphone.
You can do the same thing on an iPhone or an Android smartphone, but my guess is you’ll be able to do it much easier and faster on an Amazon smartphone. A couple more things: One, I think Amazon’s smartphone unlocked will sport a full price of US$199. Two, the unlimited talk, text, and data plans will be the most affordable. This makes sense to me since according to Jeff Bezos, Amazon doesn’t make money when you buy its devices but when you use them.