Amazon Fire: taking consumerisation too far?

Amazon's new Fire phone offers shopping at the touch of a button. Could this pose another challenge for CIOs?

Inside the Enterprise: The smartphone market is already crowded, with dozens of vendors offering increasingly identikit handsets.
There is Apple at the high end, along with Samsung, and perhaps, Nokia. But then there is a long tail of smaller makers of mostly Android-based phones that compete more on price, than on design or features.
I'm not expecting huge interest from consumers.
One or two manufacturers have tried to be different. Sony emphasises its audio and video heritage, with 4K video, and has some Playstation functionality. Google, with its Nexus brand, has tried to push out the boundaries of performance, and has adopted a SIM-free business model for its handsets. But most opt for a basic glass and plastic wrapper around a version of Android.
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below
This is the market that Amazon has now joined, with its Fire phone. Amazon has already tested out the tablet market with its Kindle Fire range. Now, it has moved into phones.
The new Amazon handset will go on sale in the US, at a price of $199 on an AT&T contract. It boasts a number of advanced features, including facial recognition and 3D imaging, as well as a dedicated "Firefly" Amazon button, and a Mayday button to contact Amazon support.
The Fire phone, like the Kindle Fire tablets, uses Amazon's Fire OS, a "forked" version of Android. This allows for tighter integration with Amazon services, such as Cloud Drive. Fire phone users will have unlimited storage on Amazon's servers, and unlimited streaming of music from Amazon's Prime service (for the first year only; anyone wanting these services in their second year will have to pay $99).
But this also locks users into Amazon's app store, and to Fire OS compatible versions of Android apps. This could make it harder to support the Fire phone in a business environment if and it is quite a big if consumers buy the phone in sufficient numbers for CIOs to have to take them into account.
Based on what we know about the phone so far, some analysts think this is unlikely. Francisco Jeronimo, IDC's research director for European consumer and wireless communications, thinks that is unlikely. "I'm not expecting huge interest from consumers," he said. Fellow analyst Carolina Milanesi, chief of research atKantar Worldpanel Comtech, suggested at, $199, the phone could be a "hard sell".
Fanatical Amazon users might welcome the new handset, and the year's free Prime membership. But, even if it is unlikely that mobile workers will switch to Amazon Fire in their droves, it will be interesting to see how the wider market reacts.
Advertisement - Article continues below
The Fire could yet turn out to be one of two things: a relatively clever handset, or a totally new retail experience. If it is the latter, Amazon's competitors will have to take note.
Stephen Pritchard is a contributing editor at IT Pro.
Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/cloud/cloud-computing/354478/microsoft-has-an-edge-on-aws-according-to-it-executives
cloud computing

Microsoft has an edge on AWS, according to IT executives

8 Jan 2020
Visit/cloud/354231/the-it-pro-podcast-is-the-future-multi-cloud
Cloud

The IT Pro Podcast: Is the future multi-cloud?

29 Nov 2019
Visit/technology/32750/17-hidden-secrets-of-the-amazon-echo/page/0/8
Technology

17 hidden secrets of the Amazon Echo

15 Jan 2019
Visit/technology/32750/17-hidden-secrets-of-the-amazon-echo/page/0/7
Technology

17 hidden secrets of the Amazon Echo

15 Jan 2019

Most Popular

Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/354468/if-not-passwords-then-what
cyber security

If not passwords then what?

8 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/31772/gdpr-and-brexit-how-will-one-affect-the-other
Policy & legislation

GDPR and Brexit: How will one affect the other?

9 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020