Initial Impression of Amazon’s Fire Phone

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2Q 2014 | IN-1019497

Amazon’s Fire Phone Is Like Other Smartphones


Would Amazon go out on a limb and create its first smartphone prepared to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple? Our expectation was a mid-tier phone with a high level of integration to its services and that’s what we saw announced. The hardware was clearly based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoC from the mention of the Adreno 330 graphics, but Amazon fell short of referencing Qualcomm or Snapdragon during the launch, which left us perplexed. Once collateral documents for Fire Phone had posted, it was clear that our suspicions of a Snapdragon 800 chipset were correct.

While Amazon has dedicated resources for hardware development (Lab126, which also developed Kindle eReaders and the Kindle Fire tablets), the end game for Amazon’s strategy has never been articulated as trying to make a name for itself in the hardware business. Devices have always been a means to an end—getting in front of more people t...

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