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back to article Amazon DENIES launch of iPhone-killing freebie smartphone

Amazon won't be launching a freebie phone later this year, in fact it won't launch any phone this year and has no future plans to give hardware away, ever. The story started on Friday as an exclusive from ex-WSJ journo Amir Efrati, and spread across the blogosphere like wildfire as it sounded feasible and came from "people …

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Free = very locked down?

A free phone would have to be very locked into the Amazon ecosystem, Shirley?

Otherwise I'll get one for all the family, and we'll just continue to use the same apps we already use, and I don't really see how Amazon benefits.

And if it's locked down in terms of no Google Play store (I'm assuming an Android handset here) then won't it suffer from the main hurdle for Windows phones - a lack of apps?

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Re: Free = very locked down?

Yes. There is no such thing as a free launch.

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Re: Free = very locked down?

Well they could sell a £50 phone which comes with £50 of amazon app store credit... It stretches the definition of free a little, but then so do most "free" services.

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JDX
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Re: Free = very locked down?

You're forgetting that 99% of the population aren't nerds and wouldn't even think of rooting their phone, even if it was easy to do. In fact, a few nerds saying how cool the AmazonPhone is [because they can root it to Android] might even act as advertising to the average Joe... "well my brother's a nerd and he likes it, so it must be good".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Free = very locked down?

FWIW I guess the appstore on such a phone would match the one on the other Android Kindles, so an okay selection and while not as extensive as Google Play mostly not fart apps. There are some weird omissions like Zinio which (on the Kindle at least, I don't want to read magazines on a phone) mean you have to mess around and sideload stuff but on the whole it's probably better than BlackBerry selection

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Re: Free = very locked down?

Depends - if a free or dirt cheap phone is selling like hot cakes, then I'm sure that an increasing number of people will put their Android applications onto Amazon's store too.

(Of course, there'll always be the companies that have no clue as to what has the largest share - the ones that even today cater for only iphones, for example - but that's a problem plaguing all other platforms, Android included.)

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Re: Free = very locked down?

The Amazon App Store has a resonable selection of apps, and for developers, it is just a case of resubmitting their existing Android app to a different store.

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@JDX

I'm definitely not forgetting - I didn't mention, or even imply, rooting at all. You seem to have misread my post. My comment is purely about using the phone in the form as supplied by Amazon, which basically boils down to:

Locked to Amazon? Hey, where's my Google Books apps?

Not locked to Amazon? Cool, my Google Books app!

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JDX
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Re: @JDX

Yes, and if it's locked how do you circumvent that?

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Anonymous Coward

Not so sure Apple should be worried. Android handset manufacturers OTOH...

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe it was a parody on the 'Sold below cost' mantra

Whilst we now have $100 HD no name 'Made in China' phones, the $250 'Made in China' HD Nexus 4 gets described as sold below cost.

So it is there to pamper those paying $500 for a non HD 'Made in China' iPhone 5s.

A strange negative anyway, I'd rather buy below cost than get robbed buying a hyped neutered $500 gadget.

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Re: Maybe it was a parody on the 'Sold below cost' mantra

I doubt the bill of materials for a Nexus 4 is more than $250, probably less. So Google / LG wouldn't make much money off them but neither I suspect are they losing money either.

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Coat

Amazon

Only being able to make a profit from Apps to Apples? And there I was thinking Amazon made profit from Books, Computers, Daily goods, Electronics, Fashion...

Mine's the one with the 1 page dictionary in the pocket...

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Invitation to an antitrust lawsuit

Giving away something for free to drive other companies out of business or steal market share is generally frowned on in most countries. If Amazon did do this they could find themselves tied up in so many lawsuits that they'd wish they'd never bothered.

The ultimate fail would be if on top of that the phones turned out to be rootable ensuring plenty of them being handed out and then converted to a more useful experience.

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JDX
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Re: Invitation to an antitrust lawsuit

If they were deemed to be exploiting a monopoly to gain market share elsewhere that would be bad (what happened to MS). But it's hard to find a market Amazon could be claimed to have a monopoly on. At least so far.

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Re: Invitation to an antitrust lawsuit

It doesn't have to be from a monopoly. Predatory pricing is considered anti-competitive in most countries. Giving a phone away below cost or for free could definitely see them whacked with anti-trust / anti-competitive lawsuits.

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Could have made sense if it was ...

Free so long as you spend $25/month on Amazon for a year or be hit with the penalty - the full cost of the phone

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Anonymous Coward

"people familiar" = someones dog

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Anonymous Coward

It's like the cr@p about 'did not immediately respond to comment from a voicemail left out of hours' - saying stuff like 'people familiar' means what - people who think or wish they were familiar. Perhaps the share trades of these people, their families etc. should be analysed before such announcements.

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WTF?

OTT? WTF?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-top_content

Ah!

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Re: OTT? WTF?

Did you also have to look up who Amazon are?

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Anonymous Coward

'iPhone Killer' ?

As soon as I see those words I think FLOP - Pretty much any device trying to be an iPhone killer is doomed to failure. As Bush said in the Iraq war, true victory lies in the war of hearts and minds, Apple people don't WANT to be converted (and I am one of them).

If people want to move the masses from the iOS ecosystem they need to invent something which is significantly different to every other smartphone, not just Apple. Most people have made their choice, became used to it and don't want to switch from it.

I was always a classic candybar Nokia guy until Apple invented something so radically different (i'm talking about a smartphone that worked, amazing apps and absolutely NO crashes). It would take something equally different to all of the major platforms to make me shift again.

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Re: 'iPhone Killer' ?

It doesn't need to be an iPhone Killer[tm] to kill the iPhone.

The Zon are already kicking Apple's arse with the Kindle tablets and bookstore. A lot of app developers are looking at affiliate at in-app sale opportunities that Apple can't give them.

So a phone with 'Buy anything, anywhere' built-in is already on the winning straight. Unless the technology is utterly pants, Apple can't offer anything similar. And shiny can only take you so far - especially if Apple dilute it themselves with a 5C.

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Re: 'iPhone Killer' ?

A free device is obviously going to take sales from everyone. I would argue that it is more likely it'll take sales from Android than Apple. Apple customers are prepared to pay higher prices, for better for worse. Some Android customers will pay similar prices, but Android has a low end that Apple does not, where customers are looking for bargains, and it is hard to beat "free". Why would the people buying low end Android devices (<$200 phones, <$150 tablets) choose Android over the free Amazon alternative if they're looking to save a buck?

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