A few years ago, Amazon launched its Fire smartphone which was unimpressive to say the least, selling a little over 35,000 units only. Now, once again, Amazon might be trying it’s hand to get back into the smartphone game with its new Ice smartphone.
A couple of reasons led to the eventual failure of Amazon’s Fire smartphone among which were a limited range of Amazon applications available for the users. Other questionable features included a bizarre operating system, an expensive price tag and error-prone specs. This time, however, Amazon might be taking a more intelligible approach to its smartphone.
Rumored Specs of Amazon’s Ice Smartphone
The Ice smartphone is expected to include the original Google Play Store so that all of the Android applications can be made available to Ice smartphone users. The phone itself will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat and not an original operating system. If the Ice smartphone survives the competitive market, it might even upgrade to Android O.
Other important specifications and features of the Ice smartphone, which are still rumored, include display screens measuring 5.2 inches and 5.5 inches. The new smartphone by Amazon will incorporate a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor chip and will offer 2 GB RAM, with 16 GB of internal storage that will probably be expandable via a microSD card. The Ice smartphone’s camera is rumored to include a 13-megapixel rear camera whereas no information about the front-facing, secondary camera was made known. Rumors have also emerged of Amazon taking the fingerprint scanner or TouchID sensor to the back of the new smartphone.
A tester smartphone model is likely to be launched first which will be priced at US $93 (Rs. 6000). This would make the Ice smartphone available for a wide consumer audience contrary to the previous Fire model.
There is however something that’s missing from the Amazon Ice smartphone – Amazon’s widely popular and iconic voice-assistant, Alexa. Alexa has made a good name when it comes to the voice assistant category, and has possibly even surpassed Siri. Amazon-owned Alexa is featured in many of Amazon’s devices and gadget including its Bluetooth speaker, Amazon Echo and some refrigerators and appliances. However the Ice smartphone will not feature Alexa and that is a major letdown. Instead, the smartphone will come with Google’s AI Assistant.
Will the Amazon Survive the Smartphone Market This Time?
According to Gadgets 360, Jan Dawson, founder and chief analyst at Jackdaw Research spoke about the initiative Amazon is planning to take in these words: “Part of Amazon’s challenge overall is that beyond e-commerce its ecosystem is still pretty weak, especially outside the US and a couple of other markets. And it’s typically also relegated to a secondary role on devices which come with either Apple or Google services (or in some cases Samsung’s or other OEMs’) integrate.
So creating its own line of phones where Amazon apps and services are pre-installed and tightly integrated could be a great way to spread its ecosystem in those markets.
This new strategy targets a very different market from the Fire Phone, and so it requires a different approach (and arguably this approach would have been much better for the Fire Phone too).”
Do you think the new Amazon Ice Smartphone will be a success? Or is it going to be a lost cause like the Fire smartphone line? Let us know your opinions in the comment section below!