firePHONE, firefly – Mayday Mayday Mayday

The overall reaction is remarkable we think for the paucity of comment on the call element of what is, after all is said and done, a mobile phone!

Having said that we think it is certainly smart in terms of features, some gimmicky, some not. Showrooming has just reached a new level  with firefly’s ability too scan over 100 million items of which, we guess, the majority can be acquired on Amazon.com.

General comment seems to be some surprise at the pricing being somewhat more expensive than envisaged (starting at $199 for a 2 year contract) but the “free Prime for a year” offer saving $99 is quite an incentive.

In hands-on terms some of the features including gesture control are possibly not as smart as they could be. Apps are a significant concern as with the specially “forked” android system being used many of the standard ones are not at this stage available and email systems must be a consideration. At 4.7” the screen size is unsurprisingly larger than Apple’s 5S at 4”.

There’s a useful competitive comparison over at the WSJ detailing iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S%. HTC One and Motorola‘s MotoX

We guess the firePHONE will ship, like Kindle Fire tablets a smallish % of the overall market (over 1 billion globally)  but where it is present it will achieve up to perhaps 5% points share and globally will ship several million units a quarter peaking over the holiday season. There will of course be an intial surge with maybe between 7 & 10 million max sales in Q3 this year in the US

As far as any UK availability is concerned (US from July 25) the only comment TechRadar got from an Amazon employee was “Stay tuned” which if previous tablet precedents are used as a guide could take us  into at least Q3 of 2015.

In terms of the media event itself which you can watch in full (just under an hour and a half in total)  Jeff Bezos, as usual, was impressive and we particularly liked the use in the opening video sequences of customer application videos to attend the announcement. Amazon had 60,038 requests and had  300 invitations so that’s a 200/1 shot!

We can’t yet see the official Amazon “See what customers have to say” promotional video on YouTube so pending its appearance here’s a third party upload.
You can of course see the two videos on Amazon.coms site

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon

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