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back to article AT&T has Amazon 3D smartphone on lockdown – report

Pictures and specs of a new "3D" smartphone expected to be unveiled by Amazon on 18 June have already leaked online. And just this morning we see reports that giant US carrier AT&T has inked a deal to lock the phone to its network.* But what can we really expect? Judging by the unofficial snaps, the rumoured mobe looks like …

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Anonymous Coward

Can't Wait

Ooo, I'm so excited. I can't wait, I just can't wait. I won't sleep for the next two days. I just have to get one.

"topple Apple" as in "year of Linux on the desktop"?

I have to say though I do enjoy a nice topple apple.

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Re: Can't Wait

If you're talking about smartphones Apple was toppled a fair while ago in terms of user base wasn't it?

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JDX
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Re: Can't Wait

You can't dominate the market if you only sell premium-end products.

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Joke

Re: Can't Wait

quote: "I have to say though I do enjoy a nice topple apple."

I'm partial to the odd apple tipple myself :)

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Coat

Re: Can't Wait

I prefer pie myself but as JDX points out an Apple Pi would cost more than a dozen Raspberries.

The one with a bit of cinnamon in the pocket.

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Cue one clueless news site after another

causing this to end up as a 'holographic phone' after a week of lazy cutting and pasting from other clueless news sites.

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"could be the biggest thing"

Unlikely as the Stereoscopic mode makes it annoying to nearly 1/5th of people (who don't see the 3D illusion of Stereo images). The 3D illusion via Stereoscopic imagery is tiring for most people and as it's part of screen degrades 2D image mode.

An Amazon phone would need a different USP to this. Will there be an ordinary screen version?

How does it cope with screen rotation in "3D" mode? The LCD shutter glasses with ordinary syncronised screen can work, but I can't see how a lenticular screen works other than at a fixed angle. Any Nintendo 3DS users care to comment?

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g e
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Re: "could be the biggest thing"

I think the key lies in the 'active' lenticular...

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Re: "could be the biggest thing"

Mongo likes active lenticular!

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Headmaster

Amazon to drop veil

It should be "lift veil" shirley?

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Re: Amazon to drop veil

meh...

lift, drop... either way it's evident the veil is no longer in its original position and not serving its intended purpose!

pedantic reference to inappropriate punctuation FTW?

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Anonymous Coward

Pricing?

Kindle is not aggresivley priced. Way to high. And its walled garden too.

So you think it might be in the £99 to £149 range?

Highly unlikely. They will advertise 3D to the full and hope punters will fall for the trick. Which is after all an Adroid handset with a gimmicky screen ! ie if it materialises, since you el reg is just reporting based on a rumour.

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JDX
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Yawn

We already had glasses-free 3D in the Nintendo3DS. Nobody really seemed to care.

A cool gimmick but still a gimmick - what problem does it solve compared to seeing 2D icons on the screen?

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Re: Yawn

I agree. Shame they couldn't put their efforts into something useful, like a battery that can last for two or three days.

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The joy of the walled garden

Many people like walled gardens. In the iOS vs Android war, Apple's walled garden approach makes for a safer device - there's virtually no malware on un-jailbroken iOS devices.

If Amazon were to set up a competing walled garden, at a lower price point, it would attract a lot of people. One particular group is parents who are worried about what their kids can access; but anybody who is concerned about the security of Android, and who can't afford an iPhone, is a likely customer.

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Re: The joy of the walled garden

IMHO most users don't care about 'walled gardens'. All they care about is, does the device work and easily plus as long as their 'must have' apps are available, then they are happy punters.

My kindle HD was ok as far as it went. IMHO even more walled off than the apple ecosystem but it did its primary job very well. I wish there have been a way to store the different ebooks by topic, but it worked and whilst not in the same league as a paperwhite in terms of battery life, it performed pretty well. Then some sod nicked it thinking it was an iPad.

I tried a Galaxy Note and a couple of other Android tablets. Whilst the walled garden wasn't really there I just didn't get on with them.

Now I have an iPad Mini. Sure it has some frustratons but after a couple of weeks they don't get in the way any longer and it does the job I wanted it for. Battery if ok as long as I don't play any games.

By OK, I mean capable of lasting through an 11hour flight plus the inevitable idle time waiting to get on a plane. Not every airline's cattle class seating has a USB connection yet.

So walled garden or not, the iPad works for me. I'm not sure what I'd get from jailbreaking it. Like my dumb Nokia (x2) phones that I now use instead of Samsung or HTC Android phones, they do the job I need of them. nowt more needed really.

Do I really care about the Apple Walled Garden? Not really because the device works for me. I know that I am not alone amongst mainstream smartphone/tablet users. They simply don't care one iota.

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Re: The joy of the walled garden

Just out of curiosity, what defines a "walled garden"? Is the ability of sideloading apps? Choosing other "official" app stores?

Honestly, just asking. If I am not planning on developing for the tablet (i.e. no need to sideload), nor want to jailbreak it, and just want to get content from the official app/media stores what is the difference?

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Re: The joy of the walled garden

The basic definition would be whether you can run code that isn't signed by the manufacturer. It's not limited to mobile phones - games consoles are walled gardens too.

Apple extended that idea into making it much harder to load your own music and videos too, essentially "nudging" you into buying on the iTunes store. Sure, you can download music on your computer, then use the horrible desktop iTunes to tediously "sync" audio and video files from the computer to the iDevice; but it's much easier if you just buy it through their store. Compare that with Android where you can fling files onto the device with simple Windows Explorer, where any app can open any other app's files, where you can even run your favourite BitTorrent client and download music and video without spending any more money.

As one Reg writer already pointed out, buying the Kindle (Fire) is like buying an Amazon till. The Amazon phone will be the same, and as such it should be a money-spinner for Amazon, even if it doesn't sell that many units.

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Re: The joy of the walled garden

Most consumers have no idea about "walled gardens". Only geeks care about that stuff. Most consumers asked to describe the differences between iPhone and Android wouldn't mention anything related to walled gardens, open source, or anything else that some people seem to think/wish consumers care about.

What's more, most consumers who buy Android use it the same way as they use an iPhone, to where the walled garden difference is irrelevant. They download apps from Google Play, and nowhere else. They don't sideload, they don't root.

No one is going to be attracted to buy an Amazon phone because it has a walled garden, not only is not a feature they look for or a reason why they buy iPhone, they don't even know it exists. Those who buy the Amazon phone will do so based on the same factors they use to choose between iPhone and Android, or Samsung and LG.

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Yep - agree with what you're saying.

However, my perception of these devices and the various 'garden-iness' seems swing all over the place.

My phone is an Android. It will always be an Android. God I lust after some Apple-things. They always get the apps first. They always seem to work better. That finger-thingie on the latest one is genuine genius - I know it's supposed to "just work" - but it actually did. It was voodoo. However, I'm used to what 'open' Android allows me to do. I've got my stack of favourite apps, that all integrate nice and seamlessly with each other. Plus (and I know this doesn't reflect well on me) - I have this nagging feeling that iPhones are exclusively bought by idiots who got told by other idiots they were good. Like Audis. I can't imagine anybody owning an iphone rushed out to buy a P800 on launch day, knows what it is, and if I told them would think I'd invented a heretical time machine.

I love my kindle (currently 3G paperwhite). Yes it's a walled garden - but there's something about it that appeals to the perfectionist in me. It's simply a perfect machine honed with the single aim of ensuring there's never a reason to not buy a book from Amazon.

Ease of use, competitive book prices, battery life, wifi blah blah. All lovely features anybody could have come up with. Chucking in a 3G modem that works pretty much anywhere I tread on the planet to allow my to buy books immediately at no cost or config to myself... There's just something literally so OTT about that.. Glorious overkill.

We bought my mum an iPad Air. She loves it (I suspect more than her children). She never asks me questions about it. When her mail stopped, Virgin could tell her what to press on the screen to make mail appear.

Maybe my issue with walled gardens is the cost of entry. Amazon sell good stuff cheaply - and are pretty up-front with why. I feel if they displease me and I walk away, it's their loss. Apple sell the most expensive kit, with an offensive (to me) market image of hip *shudders* cool *retches*

I don't consider myself to be one of those people so overcome with the love of their invention of mobile music I wish to become a gyrating silhouette. It's music. With earphones (and shit ones initially at least - I think that still contributes to my hatred of the cynicism).

Even now - pretty adverts filled with pretty people who aren't old enough to be a child of an f'in Pixie (and no you Pixie fans, you don't look like the people in the advert, even if you do buy that f'in phone).

I appear to have issues and will now stop typing.

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JDX
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Re: Yep - agree with what you're saying.

Well that's the thing - a controlled walled garden should ALWAYS be slicker and easier than having to bumble around looking for content on multiple markets which all work differently, and managing the device yourself.

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'Active Lenticular'?

Given that Lenticular lenses are an array of bumps on the screen, and this would seem daft in something that's supposed to be touch-enabled and as thin as possible, I'd doubt it's "active lenticular". That'd suggest changeable lenses, which if nothing else would suggest we should have seen many more camera phones with optical zoom, single-sensor 3D digital cameras, etc.

Pupil-tracking faux-3D is a lot more sensible- it doesn't rely on people being able to see stereoscopic 3D images as you're only looking at a 2D image, you only have to render a single image rather than two displays, and there's no loss of image quality (whereas lenticular halves it). You just track where the user's looking and display a slightly different angle depending on where they're looking from. It's the same technique that's been used in 3D games for decades, just hooked up to an eye-tracker.

Not only that, but the increase in manufacturing cost is zero- all the bits required already exist in most smartphones- as opposed to 'significant' as you add an extra precisely-aligned-optics stage to their assembly.

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Anonymous Coward

Confusing headline

I thought the article would talk about the REAL need for improvement: proper¹ haptic feedback on touch devices.

¹ "Proper" does not mean a buzz of the vibrator. It means that "clicking" a button feels like something has been depressed (and possibly sprung back up), for example, or that when using a "slider" control, something actually moves, etc.

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Unhappy

3D has been how successful ?

now on a phone where battery life matters. Also is the thing visible in daylight? I am fed up with finding shade so I can see any phone. And no, those antiglare stickons dont work well in Oz or anywhere else in my bitter experience. Where are the reflective screens that work fine in bright light? Come back original Streak.

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Re: 3D has been how successful ?

+1 for reminding us of the original Streak (or Streak Classique as it will henceforth be known). My first Android phone, the first phone to blow me away with its first firmware upgrade (the change from CupCake to Froyo was astonishing - not least of which was the transformation of the video camera from VGA to HD) and also the only mobile I have ever been able to use in the Oz Sunshine. And all encased in a bevel edged sheet of gloss black.

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Headache

3D gives me a headache and after the first thing coming out of the screen its pretty dull.

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For several years now many technologists, market research firms and millions of technology users have stated basically and almost exactly what Simon Rockman indicates in this article - that consumers are less averse to changes, especially in Graphical User Interface (GUI) design and general software organization and use against what was proclaimed ad nauseam by Microsoft and their loyal minion armies in disputing Linux based computers as easy to use and viable alternative to Windows XP/Windows 7/8.1 computer systems.

I wonder if Mr. Rockman was making such statements that are contray to what he is writing here.

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