Amazon Shouldn't Enter the Smartphone Market: 10 Reasons Why

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-07-12 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Amazon is considering entering the smartphone market, according to several published reports. But when it’s all said and done, such a move would prove to be bad news.

There€™s a lot of speculation, along with several published reports, that Amazon is planning to enter the smartphone market. The online retail company will reportedly try to jump into the fray as early as this year to complement its current mobile offering, the Kindle Fire tablet. For its part, Amazon hasn€™t said what it might do with its future efforts in the mobile space and hasn€™t even confirmed that it€™ll break into the smartphone market. But many analysts and industry observers believe it€™s only a matter of time.

For Amazon€™s sake, however, it shouldn€™t jump into the smartphone market. It might seem like a good place to be when one examines Apple€™s success with its iPhone, but not every company is Apple. And as Amazon has learned in the tablet space, trying to match Apple€™s products can be extremely difficult. At this point, it would be better for Amazon to stick with tablets, retail and cloud services, and leave smartphones to everyone else.

Here€™s a look at 10 different reasons Amazon should stay out of the smartphone market.

1. Price matters€”but not in the way you think

In the tablet market, Amazon was able to do well with a cheap device because a slate is a luxury product. A smartphone, however, has become a necessity nowadays. And with necessities comes a greater likelihood for customers to want to buy the best product out there. What€™s more, that best product€”in many consumers€™ minds, the iPhone€”is quite cheap at $200 with a two-year contract. Simply put, in the smartphone space, undercutting other products on price doesn€™t really matter.

2. This isn€™t tablets

Amazon  certainly  understands  tablets, and what it takes to be successful in that market. But the smartphone space is far more crowded and is governed by different rules. Amazon would need to play nice with carriers, attempt to have them promote its products as much as possible, and much, much more. Competing in smartphones is much different and far more difficult than in tablets.

3. Amazon isn€™t so high on design

Following that, it€™s important to point out that when offering a cheaper device in the tablet space, consumers are willing to forgo high-quality design. Considering the smartphone space is much different, design will prove to be extremely important. There€™s just one problem: Amazon has yet to show it truly understands high-quality design.

4. 4G LTE is a must

Since Amazon would ostensibly try to follow the same strategy in the smartphone space as it did in tablets, the company will have to leave some key features out. One of those could be 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE). What a mistake. Looking ahead, 4G LTE service will be a necessity for smartphones. Any device, like the Kindle Phone, that would lack such a feature would be in for serious trouble.



 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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