An Amazon Smartphone Won't Aim at Apple or Google
There's no question that several names will come up in association with the Amazon smartphone rumors. Research In Motion(RIMM) already has several times. If Facebook(FB) hasn't already, it will. And don't be shocked to hear mentions of a partnership with Microsoft(MSFT) .
Rule RIM out. It probably already had the chance, but ineptitude runs rampant at that outfit. Facebook doesn't make sense because it likely has sights on businesses Amazon runs. Microsoft, however, makes perfect sense. I would prefer it if Windows 8 powered my Amazon smartphone, rather than Android or something conceived by Bezos.
However it plays out, it will be interesting. But it probably won't be nearly as exciting as "Amazon to compete with Apple" or what people rooting for a RIM, Facebook or Microsoft partnership think it will be.
Like Kindle Fire, an Amazon smartphone will come out of the gate strong. Then sales will drop like a rock. They'll do a second-generation device. The same thing will happen. All the while, all that will matter is that the people who did buy an Amazon gadget used it to further entrench themselves and their families in the ecosystem.
Wait. I feel like I am forgetting something. Right: Google(GOOG) .
So did Jeff Bezos. They're a nonfactor. Google will be lucky to sell a dozen of its tablets. Like RIM, it will end up giving a bunch away and then taking a charge on the unsold inventory. Remember I said that.
Unlike Amazon, Google has absolutely no catalyst to get a person to buy its devices, be it a Nexus tablet or a pair of futuristic glasses. By all accounts, its tablet is not superior in to anything that's already out there. And, Apple just filed a patent to do glasses as well.
Members of the Amazon Prime cult might be iPad or iPhone owners, but they could still buy a Kindle Fire because of the ecosystem. It's powerful, and Google simply does not have that.
Think what you will about how all of this will play out. But, please, don't go along with the talking point that Amazon is targeting Apple with a smartphone. It didn't do that with its tablet, and it sure as heck is not doing it here.
Jeff Bezos does not fight battles he has no chances of winning.