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.
It may have changed since I saw it some years ago, but I recall when I was working on android apps that it was a serious issue for people; not only were they getting mass downloads on the free day and a cliff thereafter, but people were often giving poor reviews perhaps because the app wasn't really what they were looking for in the first place. I've noticed in the free app reviews these days that the Amazonians review the apps with more experience, so they balance their reviews by saying within them that they got the app as a FAOTD, or free app of the day.
I don't see why Apple would merit special treatment in terms of facing competition that gives consumers good and viable options and help to cut back the monopolistic skimming and royalties. The world is not made for Apple, it's just another company that's only useful in so much as it serves.
Google's policy enforcing its Play store with 20% revenues may have made sense for a while with the concept of Android as an open platform and them making some revenue as part of their work and to cover their investments, but 20% forever is a bit extortionary, as the innovation and real development thereafter have not particularly revolutionary. Adding to that fact is that they were not the only contributors, despite being the sponsors, to the Android open source project, nor to the popularity of the platform, and the fact that they are pushing/forcing installation of the entire ecosystem of Google Search, Books, Magazines, and so on to lock it down exclusively and it's just greed to get the whole pie instead of leaving something reasonable on the table for partners and new players. Thus you have Samsung, the biggest player, looking to develop an android app compatible alternative like Tizen to put up its own shingle while it still can, especially with increasing competition in the hardware space by young guns.
Sony's in perhaps the best situation structurally by having a vertical integration with its hardware and content creation itself at least for their own new attempt to branch out into the set top box space, although I don't know the details of how that case with the attempt to separate the hardware and content divisions worked out in practice. Despite success in the game console area which the set top box intersects with, it's still weak in the phone space.