Amazon’s Fire Phone (pictured) was a noble and interesting effort, but unlike most of the company’s devices, it didn’t come with a market-beating price – and it failed to find many customers. Still, Amazon said it would try again.
However, The Information claims that Amazon won’t in fact try to make another smartphone, but instead try to partner up with existing phone makers to load its software and services onto their devices. Imagine the next Samsung or HTC phone you snag coming with Amazon features like Firefly, or even an app based on the Echo platform – it could happen, apparently.
Some phones already come preloaded with the Amazon shopping and Kindle reading apps, thanks to deals with phone manufacturers and certain carriers, but this report suggests that Amazon will try spreading more of its influence onto other devices. In a way, the move could try to wrest some control of Android away from Google, if Amazon can replace some of its essential services.
Rather than make its own device, we wonder if Amazon might partner with a hardware company to make a forked version of Android without core Google services – essentially, a Kindle Fire or Fire Phone from a third-party manufacturer. With the Amazon Appstore being pretty well stocked on apps and games, it’s not a stretch to imagine a phone released without Google Play access.
The report suggests that Amazon could offer these phone buyers a lengthy Prime trial, which would not only get them free two-day shipping on physical goods, but also free access to a treasure trove of movies, TV shows, music, apps, games, and more.
You might lose Google Maps and YouTube apps, but a cheap, Amazon-branded phone could potentially do really well for itself – emphasis on cheap, as we all learned from the Fire Phone’s misfire.