Seeking Alpha

Amazon unveils Fire phone

  • As rumored, Amazon's (AMZN +0.8%) Fire phone features a 4.7" display (no resolution has been given yet, rumors pegged it at 720p), a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU (2.2GHz., quad-core), and a 13MP rear camera. (live blog)
  • The camera features optical image stabilization, and the display a circular polarizer meant to eliminate glare. The display is protected by Corning's (GLW +0.1%) Gorilla Glass 3.
  • Stereo speakers are also on board, and magnetic earbuds with flat cables are bundled. Amazon hasn't yet shown off a 3D display, but pictures of the phone show the four front cameras (one at each corner) expected to enable 3D viewing.
Comments (63)
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (8135) | Send Message
     
    One of these days Amazon may actually show a profit.

     

    Sky high valuations and microscopic operating margins?

     

    Good luck with that.
    18 Jun, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • investingInvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (1216) | Send Message
     
    Watch an Amazon video on the Fire phone:

     

    http://amzn.to/1jzGTnK

     

    The linked page has ALL the specifications, too. Remember the Amazon Appstore and many tens of millions of media choices. Amazon tablets and phone share an ecosystem. HD 720p plus Dolby. Four cameras in front for 3D perception.

     

    The negative comments here make little sense. Samsung is in big trouble now. Android has forever splintered.
    18 Jun, 07:13 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    Yes, like a mid-range phone at top-end prices will sell well.

     

    As I said, this phone is a bet on AMZN's customers being stupid, which I don't think they are.

     

    A Nexus 5 is the same or better in all departments (except for the 3d gimmick) and retails for HALF the price.
    18 Jun, 07:19 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3122) | Send Message
     
    "Samsung is in big trouble now. Android has forever splintered."

     

    Samsung has never been in trouble. Most android fans will tell you that google play >>>>> amazon appstore when it comes to updated apps and selection
    18 Jun, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (3666) | Send Message
     
    You have to love marketing 'it feels like, seems like' when describing the 3D feature.
    19 Jun, 01:31 AM Reply Like
  • Johnwoods41
    , contributor
    Comments (99) | Send Message
     
    I just don't get this phone, why would anyone want to buy it???
    18 Jun, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • inside man 55
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    I think it's aimed at Amazon Prime customers, the infinite photo storage is a nice touch.
    18 Jun, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • diaboliqueguan
    , contributor
    Comments (252) | Send Message
     
    Is he assuming that AMZN prime customers dont have a phone already?
    18 Jun, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • techy46
    , contributor
    Comments (5472) | Send Message
     
    I would much rather have a Microsoft Lumia Icon from Verizon with quad processor, 2Gb mem, 32Gb storage, 4 speakers and 20mp camera. Amazon is trying real hard to fail at something or maybe everything?

     

    http://nokia.ly/1pgxZPD
    18 Jun, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • inside man 55
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    Definitely a nice phone @techy46.
    18 Jun, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • locutus49
    , contributor
    Comments (879) | Send Message
     
    We are frequent Prime users (watch many TV shows on Amazon, on our laptops) and have no interest in the Fire phone. We like the iPhone and Mac ecosystem and will not switch. But we will continue to buy books and video streaming from Amazon.

     

    Long AAPL and GOOG but that has no influence on our phone preference.
    18 Jun, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • ReligiousWacko
    , contributor
    Comments (845) | Send Message
     
    diabo .. maybe all those people who get free android phones will now pay 200 AND do tons of shopping on amazon ... lol.
    18 Jun, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • TGIMonday
    , contributor
    Comments (51) | Send Message
     
    I got Prime and my 3.5 year old phone could use replacing. But, I'm waiting for iPhone6
    18 Jun, 05:19 PM Reply Like
  • PChan444
    , contributor
    Comments (368) | Send Message
     
    Chan heard phone will be free for prime subscribers
    18 Jun, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • locutus49
    , contributor
    Comments (879) | Send Message
     
    But not Beats...
    18 Jun, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • TGIMonday
    , contributor
    Comments (51) | Send Message
     
    lol I read your post, and I was like, who's Chan? Took me a moment to realize you're referring to yourself in the 3rd person.

     

    Anywayz, if its free for Prime people, I may take a closer look at the phone. A free mediocre phone may be better than paying $700 for the iPhone6.
    19 Jun, 01:48 AM Reply Like
  • locutus49
    , contributor
    Comments (879) | Send Message
     
    Not sure where you get the 700 price for the iPhone6....check out prices for the iPhone 5s on the Apple website. You may be surprised. Yes they lower them a bit to sell them before the new model, but still, people constantly exaggerate the prices of iPhones.
    19 Jun, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (3666) | Send Message
     
    Locutus

     

    They announced a $100 price hike for the 6s.
    19 Jun, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • Ashraf Eassa
    , contributor
    Comments (8816) | Send Message
     
    "They announced a $100 price hike for the 6s."

     

    Did Apple make such an announcement?
    19 Jun, 11:56 AM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (3666) | Send Message
     
    No, they did not. Its a rumor.
    19 Jun, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • IncomeYield
    , contributor
    Comments (1445) | Send Message
     
    Apple is leaving enough of an umbrella for others to crawl under.

     

    At some point, one or smartphone vendors will release good enough "free" models with a 2-year contract.
    18 Jun, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • User 6707651
    , contributor
    Comments (983) | Send Message
     
    "At some point, one or smartphone vendors will release good enough "free" models with a 2-year contract."

     

    Galaxy S4, Moto X, LG G2, and iPhone 4s are already free with contract. If you don't like contracts, Nexus 5 is $349 off contract (compared to ~$650 for a 5s or S4)
    18 Jun, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • techy46
    , contributor
    Comments (5472) | Send Message
     
    How about a Lumia Icon for $599 with no contract on Verizon?

     

    http://nokia.ly/1pgxZPD
    18 Jun, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • Johnwoods41
    , contributor
    Comments (99) | Send Message
     
    All the cameras and the processor updating the 3d, does it come with a separate battery back pack ? There is no mention of battery life anywhere
    18 Jun, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • Ongyou
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    The phone does have some new and unique features. The four cameras on front for pictures, the immersion capabilities through games and the tilt to scroll/change pages/etc is interesting. The hardware gimmicks will not be enough to sway most users it's getting a new phone- especially if it's only AT&T right now. I know plenty of people who use their larger phones with one hand no problem. And the fact that you have to physically stop a sensor from doing the auto scroll/page/etc when you tilt the phone could get annoying. I look at my phone at tons of angles just fine and can scroll with my thumb just fine. That wheel didn't need reinvention.

     

    At the end of the day this isn't about selling subsidized phones but rather building an ecosystem with apps and users like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have for their products. FireOS being an Android fork puts it in its own class, so to speak, which already limits potential users who like non-FireOS apps. I just don't see this happening. How many of the game companies who develop games for the big three ecosystems want to port their game over to FireOS *and* work in all the extra technical features that the SDK's "Dynamic Perspective" set offers? The ROI on that (months?) doesn't seem worth it for a business right now.
    18 Jun, 03:16 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    More or less the Nexus 5 specs, at double the price.

     

    Oh, it will sell so well.
    18 Jun, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • Ashraf Eassa
    , contributor
    Comments (8816) | Send Message
     
    Paulo

     

    I would immensely appreciate an article giving your take on this :-)
    18 Jun, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    There's not much to say, the phone is simply not likely to sell, much like the Kindle Fire 8.9, just a bit more expensively priced, didn't sell much. The phone is comparatively much more expensive.
    18 Jun, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • Ashraf Eassa
    , contributor
    Comments (8816) | Send Message
     
    Yes, but it's very pleasurable to read you laying all out in article form.

     

    Ah well, I can dream, right? :-)
    18 Jun, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • SoCalNative
    , contributor
    Comments (423) | Send Message
     
    I'm with Ashraf. I'd enjoy an article on this. C'mon, Paulo!
    18 Jun, 09:19 PM Reply Like
  • investingInvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (1216) | Send Message
     
    Paulo, you are talking smack. Now, Ashraf and other SA readers are calling you on it.

     

    Now is the time to put up or shut up, son.
    19 Jun, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (3539) | Send Message
     
    One of these is more likely -

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...?
    19 Jun, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • Ashraf Eassa
    , contributor
    Comments (8816) | Send Message
     
    I'm not "calling" Paulo on anything. I am only requesting an article as a follower/reader of Paulo's work since I genuinely value his views and legitimately enjoy reading his pieces.
    19 Jun, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • Johnwoods41
    , contributor
    Comments (99) | Send Message
     
    I reckon Apple and Samsung already explored this tech, but battery life just made it a non starter. Amazon had to wow with something new, but I find it amazing they have launched a phone and there is no mention of battery life. Could apple or Samsung get away with that. We all know that the processor is hungry and that most of us struggle with a full days use on our smartphone even turning off most of the features... I have even turned if the dynmaic background on my iphine to save battery. This phone is another Amazon gimmick
    18 Jun, 03:29 PM Reply Like
  • techy46
    , contributor
    Comments (5472) | Send Message
     
    Much rather have the Lumia Icon on AT&T or Verizon

     

    http://nokia.ly/1pgxZPD
    18 Jun, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • breathe
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Seriously AMZN is one pricey stock with a pe of over $500. Makes aapl and googl look CHEAP!
    18 Jun, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • Budavar
    , contributor
    Comments (1387) | Send Message
     
    Breathe =

     

    The blue chips in the Dow Jones Industrial Index, the cream of American business, has an average PER of 15 to 16.

     

    On that basis, the fair value of AMZN is $10, repeat $10.

     

    You can fool some of the people some of the time....
    18 Jun, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • ReligiousWacko
    , contributor
    Comments (845) | Send Message
     
    spoken just like someone who doesn't know difference between intrinsic value and market price ...
    18 Jun, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • tstreet
    , contributor
    Comments (560) | Send Message
     
    I think this phone would be compelling if it was in the low end of the market but it is at the high end and you have to use AT&T.
    18 Jun, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • bondtradercu
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    I think this is such a huge disappointment - the phone isn't pretty or innovative, in short, adding nothing to the table to the customers' user experiences.
    18 Jun, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    If you tilt it, it scrolls, and you can see behind things that pop up blocking the map, so you can have accidents in all new ways.

     

    "But, officer, I wasn't using the phone, I was just tilting it".
    18 Jun, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • Craig418
    , contributor
    Comments (109) | Send Message
     
    I'm not disappointed, but only because I wasn't expecting much. This seems like a typical Amazon hardware product -- flash over substance.
    18 Jun, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    But the price was truly surprising.
    18 Jun, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • ReligiousWacko
    , contributor
    Comments (845) | Send Message
     
    seriously what is target audience? iPhone users? High end Samsung? low end/free Android?
    18 Jun, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • Stephen Aniston
    , contributor
    Comments (2269) | Send Message
     
    It looks pretty cool for a Prime user. Specs are off the chart, but I didn't see widgets and I don't like the price. $199 with contract?!? I just bought my daughter a $180 Moto G, no contract.

     

    Prime music is kind of a big deal - 3 year old music for free. Since I mostly listen to 90s stuff this is pretty enticing (instead of paying $10/month for Google Play subscription).

     

    I don't know. It's not a "no brainer". Probably will not buy.
    18 Jun, 05:23 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    Specs are inferior to all other high-end devices, they're also a bit inferior to the Nexus 5, which retails for about 1/2 the price.

     

    This phone is a mystery, a bet on AMZN's customers being stupid or something.
    18 Jun, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • ReligiousWacko
    , contributor
    Comments (845) | Send Message
     
    Read reviews and comments at theverge.com . Specs are middle of the road.
    18 Jun, 06:18 PM Reply Like
  • Peter Larson
    , contributor
    Comments (611) | Send Message
     
    I don't think it was ready for release.

     

    Amazon has been plunking away at this project since 2009, endless revisions and staff turnover. They finally just ran out of money, realized Google's Project Tango (which is literally headed by the guy who invented the 3d effect) will make this obsolete in a year, and pushed out what they had.
    18 Jun, 11:42 PM Reply Like
  • Illuminati Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (3283) | Send Message
     
    It will be priced at negative $199 so that AMZN can continue to meet analyst projections for losses.
    18 Jun, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • StandupWall
    , contributor
    Comments (371) | Send Message
     
    Very interesting specs., but in my opinion this phone is too smart and raises privacy concerns, since it seems that it can recognize objects (persons), it is like a big eye watching our moves, intended to be a big consuming platform.
    Is Amazon getting frightened about Alibaba`s arrival?
    18 Jun, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • Maximus
    , contributor
    Comments (46) | Send Message
     
    Fire Phone. Yawn.

     

    When is the iPhone 6 being announced?
    18 Jun, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • brigantine partners
    , contributor
    Comments (159) | Send Message
     
    Bezos is either a genius, or a con man, or both.

     

    The AMZN phone is a mystery, as is the timing of the announcement, and the stock market reaction.

     

    This was the most telegraphed announcement in the history of announcements. No surprises, several disappointments, and a lack of a coherent strategy for AMZN to move the needle or materially improve its profitability. Although details of the kickback relationship with ATT were not revealed, it is almost certain to add to AMZN's accelerating losses in short and intermediate term.

     

    And yet, the stock went up.

     

    The markets have very few truisms, but one of the few is BUY the rumor, SELL the fact. Today's AMZN announcement was telegraphed weeks in advance, and failed to deliver on a special data plan or other such game changer. Providing free storage for photos is hardly a game changer. The phone is extraordinarily expensive, at either $200 subsidized or $700 unsubsidized. It is hard to imagine even the most devoted AMZN fans wanting to get "locked in" to an only AMZN shopping option, let alone pay huge prices for the privilege to do so. An underwhelming announcement if ever there was one.

     

    And yet the stock went up.

     

    Most of the rally was due to the FED and chase for beta. Also a bit of a surprise, since the FED continued to reduce liquidity AND lowered their growth forecast. But that is a story for another post. It still provided almost all of the fuel for the rally. AMZN was falling into the FED announcement.

     

    AMZN will be the first beta name to falter as soon as the FED induced reaction is over. AMZN is headed sub 325 in the next three weeks, and probably much lower after that.
    18 Jun, 08:03 PM Reply Like
  • Tvaddic
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    Too expensive, and only on one carrier in one country. I also think they should have released it soon. In July the new iPhone/Android rumors are going to be heavy, and Google has their I/O event next week.

     

    I think this will experience the same fate as Facebook Home.

     

    Edit: And how are they going to convince developers to develop for this? Windows Phone has a much larger install base and they still are slow to getting some apps.
    18 Jun, 09:47 PM Reply Like
  • eenk
    , contributor
    Comments (150) | Send Message
     
    Stuff I'm curious about, which perhaps only Paulo could research, project and answer --

     

    1. The MayDay feature seems expensive. Every phone sold has a customer support representative at the touch of a button within 15 seconds. If there is no limit on this service, doesn't that automatically make each phone not profitable?

     

    2. Free Prime, meaning free shipping and free movies. Shipping costs money, and the rights owners of movies don't want to give movies away for free. Doesn't that mean the profitability on these phones is compromised?

     

    3. Add to the above 'free songs.' So the profitability of the phones is again limited.

     

    4. Low sales totals (only one carrier) means no economics of scale which again would seem to lower margins and profitability.

     

    I guess overall, is this what it looks like, another loss-leader?
    18 Jun, 11:25 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    No, at this price the phone is not a loss leader. It's highly profitable. Massively profitable.

     

    The thing is, it won't sell much because it makes no sense to buy it. It's an incredibly expensive phone for what it offers. There are similar phones (Nexus 5, Moto X) at 1/2 the price.

     

    This phone is a bet on AMZN customers' stupidity. Namely regarding the carrier subsidy.

     

    The phone should end up being unprofitable due to low sales, yes.
    19 Jun, 05:34 AM Reply Like
  • jamesingram32
    , contributor
    Comments (540) | Send Message
     
    well, one thing is for sure, us $NOK longs are happy about the use of NOKIA HERE maps rather than google maps . This is great news for HERE, which has not been properly monitised yet, as evidenced by the 4% NOK jump yesterday
    19 Jun, 04:17 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    But AMZN will most probably pay a royalty per phone sold, and won't sell many due to the fantastical price.
    19 Jun, 05:35 AM Reply Like
  • jamesingram32
    , contributor
    Comments (540) | Send Message
     
    fair comment Paulo, but it does place HERE in a new light as a go to mapping technology
    19 Jun, 07:01 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    The problem is that the 2 major ecosystems, Android and iOS, already have their own maps. Microsoft can pay some royalties as well, but Windows Phone seems ready to die a slow death.
    19 Jun, 08:44 AM Reply Like
  • jamesingram32
    , contributor
    Comments (540) | Send Message
     
    True, NOK missed the boat, when they invented it in the first place!!

     

    Android maps is built on NOK technology, and they will have to pay for this in the end . NOK now has the $$$ to go after royalties.
    Also, AAPL is a possible buyer of the NOK system as the AAPL maps are not seen as a great success....
    HERE has a valuation of less than WAZE....go figure
    19 Jun, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • Krustyman
    , contributor
    Comments (828) | Send Message
     
    It is so obvious to me that this phone will be a huge success. You have to be blind for no being able to see what's coming.

     

    Seeking Alpha is now the only show in town where you can have an Amazon bashers' fest 24/7! We all know that these bashers were all very successful with their Amazon shorts...or...web trolling! Eheheh

     

    Krusty
    19 Jun, 06:53 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (17764) | Send Message
     
    Krusty, the phone being a huge success when it costs the same as an iPhone while having mid-tier specs more in line with phones costing 1/2 the price?

     

    Doubtful. Only if AMZN's customers are stupid. That's the basic bet here. Are those customers stupid?
    19 Jun, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • eenk
    , contributor
    Comments (150) | Send Message
     
    >> "It is so obvious to me that this phone will be a huge success."

     

    Krustyman, what would constitute success, and how will you measure it?

     

    I can see into the future, and predict with absolute accuracy that you are correct, the new Amazon phone will be a success. In about seven months, Amazon will let us know, in a post earnings conference call, that they are "very pleased" with the number of units sold.

     

    So there you go.
    20 Jun, 03:19 AM Reply Like
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