Excellent analysis of Amazon’s recent moves, by Ben Thompson.
The Fire Phone baffles me: Why does this product exist? Who will buy it instead of an iPhone or flagship Android phone for the same price?
I’ve always heard amazing things about Jeff Bezos, but it’s starting to become clear that he mistakenly fancies himself a product designer and Amazon a product company. Amazon is fantastic at many things, but not in-house computing products.
The e-ink Kindles sell because other e-ink devices were so horrible for so long, and the Kindles’ hardware and software design flaws don’t have major impacts on the basic needs of dedicated reading devices. The Kindle Fires sell because they’re much cheaper than iPads.
But Amazon simply doesn’t have the product-design and consumer-software skills to compete in the smartphone space, where competition is fierce, typical usage extends far beyond simple media consumption, Amazon’s not dramatically undercutting prices, and prices in much of the developed world are so heavily subsidized that the potential to undercut prices in the future is limited.
Bezos is smarter than all of us and should definitely realize this, so it should be cause for concern that he seemingly doesn’t.