Hi Junko, count me as another one who can't get along without Gmail or Google maps (afteralll, I carry an Android phone!).
I am sure there will be hacks of 3D object recognition via scanning with the Fire Phone and they will be directed towards many uses other than shopping! As of now there are still no cost-effective yet powerful hand-held 3D scanners in the market. Fire Phone could become one!
I guess its not correct to compare iPhone with Fire phone. They are two different gadgets meant for different categories of consumers. How does the cost differ?? And I am sure no one can ignore Google apps at this time.
@Junko: "But having no Gmail, no Google Map might bother some consumers like myself".
I can even use these Google services too in my Windows Phone (a low-end Nokia 520). But my mind is a roll right now.
I'm afraid that the Amazon's Fire resemble a high-end smartphone + Amazon POS (Point of Sales) device.
The report makes me think in that Bezo's primary target is empowering the widespread use of Amazon services & products, not selling the terminal -- very similar to the Apple bussiness model.
Thus, I don't understand why they've settled the price tag so high. I'm prety sure that if the price tag is on the 600-700$ range, the money return from shopping in Amazon from those users akin to buy the new Amazon's Fire will widely surpass the terminl benefit...
Two thoughs come to my mind at this point:
1- the Amazon devices are very powerfull machines and their price bareley account for the BOM price + manufacturaring and logistics -- I would't be surprissed even if Amazon has a very short term losses in the selling process itself.
1- Bezo's guys are trying to intentionally filter the potential consumers. The ones that can afford a very high price for a smartphone, surely will have plenty of money in to spend in Amazon products. In the other side, if you don't have enough money to buy this terminal, you are not going to buy a lot of expensive --or even not so much expensive-- products on Amazon.
In conclusion, this seems similar to the Apple bussiness model (started with a device, then they built the online store) but developed in the oposite way (started with a massive online store, now they build the device)
Am I digressing too much, or maybe really approaching the real point ??;-)
KindleFire is by all accounts a very well designed tablet
If Amazon would be selling its phone at $50 -- how many people would buy it?
The price can always be reduced if Amazon compensate for it and makes money in retail sale
Amazon is a major retail force -- gadgets are just supporting its ecosystem
@Junko: I agree with your views about Fire phone. I was also wondering how many of us would be interested to buy this phone just because it would be a shopping device other than being a phone? But, I see in today's newspaper that, somehow the media is positive about it. If Amazon entices even small portion of its 250 million active customer to buy one, it would give Amazon an edge over the other retailers and tech companies. I liked the features, but not sure how many of the us apart from the Amazon fans would buy Fire phone just because it makes shopping experience better. I don't know if the Fire phone could have "Kindle mode" when the user wishes to read a book...if not, I guess this could be a nice feature
@tb100 - I agree with you. Not having the Play store is not really a negative to me. Amazon makes it far easier to buy an app once and have it on multiple devices as well. In fact, checking my current phone, the only apps updated via Google Play are the ones that came pre-loaded, the ones I installed myself are all via Amazon's App Store.
If there is a way to buy once and install on multiple devices via Google Play I never took the time to figure it out. It seemed to be based on a combination of gmail address and actual hardware. Given that the sharing between my phone and my wifes, and the 3 Kindle Fires we have in the house, is effortless on the Amazon ecosystem, solving that problem on the Play store was not worth my time.
I'm unlikely to get a Fire phone - 15 years as a Sprint customer means the AT&T exclusive is a hurdle. Additionally, I tend towards flagship phones, and it's early days to know how the Fire will stack up. Otherwise, I might be the perfect target audience - already a huge fan of Amazon and heavily invested in their ecosystem.
@Daleste: I agree: I want to kn ow more about the designers and makers and guts--presumably designed by Amazon's super secret Silicon Valley team in an office just down the street from Apple. I've been there but no one besides the receptionist will talk with me!
1. Amazon hasn't released a case with buttons that rapidly launch apps like.
2. Why they didn't do some work on customizing launchers to make launching their app the fastest possible and marketing that.  is a good example.
But it seems likely that those are their next moves.
So why this phone ?
My guess , either it's targeted at a specific segment of the population(my guess would be seniors, since the mayday service is very expensive, targeted specifically at them , and they might use amazon far less often than younger people - so education/brainwashing them is worth a lot of money :) ) , or that some market moves made it less deisrable(moto g) but still after all the effort they put into it they said -let's just launch and learn what we can.