The cynics among us believe that the Amazon Fire Phone is going to be a flop. Own Darrell Etherington believes that the price is too high at $199 (and a wild $649 for an unlocked model). Instead, he believes that it should cost $1 and the service be nearly free. After all, this is a marketing machine instead of a general purpose mobile phone. It’s another pointy tendril that the evil Bezocthulhu can embed into our wallets.
Amazon is a marauding army that is about to eat most retail. Bricks and mortar stores will become havens of last resort for those who need Red Vines at a moment’s notice and grocery stores aren’t going away, but everything else that can be shipped will be shipped by Amazon. With further economies of scale and sped up shipping times I could imagine a moment when almost all of our non-perishable sundries come from Amazon.
And this phone is part of that future. It’s not for us nerds. We want a phone that can run a terminal emulator and Dragon’s Lair. We want something we can hax0r with a janky home-brew operating system or a phone that anticipates our every need in terms of music and media. What Amazon made is a phone that lets Amazon shoppers excel at what they do best – shop on Amazon.
If you do not see the value in the phone, it’s because you’re not a regular clicker of “Buy It Now.” This strange retail power, available to mere mortals for only a few years now, has changed the way humans buy hot sauce. Why go to the store, park, walk in, buy hot sauce, drive home, drink hot sauce when you can order a case of twelve bottles of Cholula for immediate delivery. It’s like Costco without the people handing out free sausage.
I feel that the naysayers are tut-tutting at the behavior suggested by an Amazon Fire Phone. What kind of capitalist brainwashed moron would want a phone that works solely within a certain ecosystem, has very specific media sources available by default, and encourages you to buy within a certain range of products if you want everything to work together and want to ensure fast, friendly service? Ahem. Ahem