recommended reading

The Most Interesting Thing About Amazon’s 3D Phone Might Be How You Pay for It

Paul Sakuma/AP File Photo

Amazon says it will introduce a new product—likely its first smartphone—at a Seattle event on June 18. A bizarre teaser video suggests the mystery device has a unique technical feature, possibly a simulated 3D display and interface.
The real question is how cheaply Amazon will price its phone, and more importantly, its mobile service. With such strong competition from Apple and Samsung, there are few reasons for anyone to buy an Amazon phone other than price. (Barring an engineering and design miracle, 3D alone won’t likely cut it.)

Conveniently, though, Amazon has a history of disruptive pricing. In the past, it has offered steep discounts on other phones (we once made a net profit buying a new phone from Amazon, after rebate), offered free mobile internet service to its Kindle owners, subsidized Kindle devices with advertising, and significantly undercut Apple on tablet pricing. The smartphone industry, however, is more complicated. In the US, Amazon’s largest market, mobile operators already subsidize smartphones to the tune of hundreds of dollars in return for a customer’s committing to a two-year contract.

Amazon’s boldest move could be to subsidize the phone itself—making it either free or very cheap—and either re-sell mobile service at very low rates, or get carriers to bid against each other for Amazon’s customers. Amazon could also effectively pay its users by offering discounts on other Amazon products or services—in an effort to drive mobile commerce, market share, or both. Or it could tie some features on the phone to an Amazon Prime subscription, as it already does with video streaming.
But the idea of Amazon doing anything truly revolutionary here seems far-fetched—the cost would simply be too high, and the benefits too slight.

More likely: A partnership with a major operator, with a modest special offer of some sort. This could be an extension of Amazon’s relationship with AT&T, which already provides service for its Kindle Fire tablet. Or perhaps it will involve T-Mobile, which, like Amazon, is based in the Seattle area, and has seen recent growth with somewhat disruptive new service offerings, including free international data roaming for smartphone subscribers and free Internet service for tablets. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has also teased an announcement for June 18. Is this it?

Reprinted with permission from Quartz. The original story can be found here.


Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.