On the eve of Amazon’s anticipated release of its first smartphone, the company said that apps available through its app store had “tripled” to reach 240,000.
By comparison the iTunes App Store has more than a million apps and Google Play has a comparable number.
While the Amazon announcement would ordinarily be “headlines” it merits attention because a perceived lack of apps would be a barrier for many to considering an Amazon smartphone (vs. other Android devices). A lack of apps has held back sales of Windows Phones until very recently.
To further encourage developers to consider submitting their apps to the Amazon store, the company released developer survey data that argued “65 percent of developers said that Total Revenue on Kindle Fire is the same or better than developers’ experience with other platforms.”
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal today, AT&T will reportedly be the exclusive U.S. carrier of the Amazon device. There’s no word on pricing but that will be one of the key considerations for consumers in deciding whether to buy an Amazon smartphone vs. other Android devices.
Amazon broke new ground with tablets when it priced the original Kindle Fire at $199, making very difficult for others to exceed that price threshold in the 7-inch tablet category.
It will be very interesting to see, beyond price, how Amazon positions and seeks to differentiate its smartphone from other Android devices in a very crowded market. It’s widely expected that the company will introduce a novel “3D” UI. However that by itself will not be sufficient to generate sales.
The company will probably rely on the combination of its content ecosystem, aggressive pricing and elegant hardware design to attract budget and fashion conscious younger users and Amazon loyalists.