If Amazon is really working on its own line of smartphones, the company may miss the 2012 holiday shopping season. Industry analysts disagree on whether that could hurt the online retailer or not.
The rumored smartphone line being undertaken by
e-retailing giant Amazon.com could launch with a potential disadvantage: If
they are built, the smartphones may not be available for sale until after this
year's holiday sales season.
That's because the timeframe for the start of
production of the new devices is "late
this year or early next year
," according to a report in The Wall Street Journal
. Those estimates come from officials at some of Amazon's parts
suppliers who asked to remain anonymous, according to the report.
production of the devices themselves doesn't begin until late this year, it's
unlikely that they could be ready in time for sale during the 2012 holiday shopping
season that starts officially on Black Friday following Thanksgiving.
Amazon's plans for a smartphone
offering in the crowded mobile marketplace were
reported last week by Bloomberg
which quoted two unnamed sources who had knowledge of the plans. Amazons
low-cost Kindle Fire shook up the tablet market upon its release in November
2011, and now the company
looks to be going after Apples best-selling iPhone smartphone
with its own
Two IT industry analysts disagree
about whether a launch that misses the 2012 holiday shopping season will be an
issue for Amazon's rumored smartphone offering.
"I dont think so," said Chris
Silva of The Altimeter Group. "Just from watching
day to day, it looks like we're in sort of a fever pitch for phone releases. It
used to be two- to three-year cycles for hardware refreshes. Now it's more
frenetic," which means it's not so important for sales at a certain time
of year anymore. "Any event to line up sales is OK for technology"
nowadays, he said.
Kevin Benedict, the CEO and principal analyst at Netcentric Strategies
disagrees, saying that missing the holiday sales season would be a disadvantage
for Amazon with its new handset.
"It would matter
because if you historically look at the sales of everything from iPhones to
iPads, Christmas is a huge time for sales," said Benedict. "If they
miss Christmas this year, they'd be missing an opportunity."
While details of the rumored smartphones
are still sketchy, Silva said he presumes that they will run the Google Android
operating system, since that's the OS Amazon already uses on its Kindle Fire tablets.
"With the Kindle Fire running an Android
derivative, it will be interesting to see what they do with the phones," said