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Founder Jeff Bezos at the launch of Amazon’s Fire Phone
Founder Jeff Bezos at the launch of Amazon’s Fire Phone

Amazon sets up Fire sale

The tech company has rolled out its first smartphone which has a 4.7-inch display, a high-definition camera and a free help service

Amazon is trying to take a big bite out of Apple’s lucrative smartphone market. In the aptly-named Fire Phone, the American internet company boasts “breakthrough technologies” to challenge the established players.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Founder Jeff Bezos unveiled Amazon’s first smartphone, which has a 4.7-inch display, a high-definition camera and a free help service.

The Fire Phone also ties in to Amazon’s vast array of other offerings, serving as a platform for digital content such as books, films and music, and connecting customers to the company’s cloud storage.

“Fire Phone puts everything you love about Amazon in the palm of your hand – instant access to Amazon’s vast content ecosystem,” said Bezos.

The handset has what he calls a “dynamic” display which shows images in three dimensions, and a scanner which recognises products for sale. Amazon described these features as “two new breakthrough technologies that allow you to see and interact with the world through a whole new lens”.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

The so-called “dynamic perspective” uses a sensor system “to respond to the way you hold, view and move Fire, enabling experiences not possible on other smartphones”, Amazon revealed.

Another feature dubbed “Firefly” recognises things in the real world such as web and email addresses, phone numbers, bar codes and millions of products. Contrary to some speculation, Amazon is not shaking up the pricing model for the smartphone market – selling the device to US customers at $200.

Still, analysts gave a mixed reaction, saying Amazon did not appear to offer a compelling reason to consumers to switch, but could appeal to its loyal customers. “There are people who know and love all things about Amazon, and that’s the low-hanging fruit,” said Ramon Llamas, a mobile analyst at IDC. “But this is an uphill challenge to get people to give up their current smartphones and switch to this one.”

Sarah Kahn, telecom analyst at IbisWorld, was also sceptical about the Fire Phone. “[This is] not different enough,” she said, before adding: “[But] Amazon’s goal is always to get you one click closer to purchasing, so this integrates completely with that strategy.”

Compiled from AFP

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