Amazon may be in the process of figuring out how to offer their smartphones in a way that could make other smartphone providers (like Apple and Samsung) curl up their toes. The wildly popular online marketplace is rumored to be making preparations to offer their highly-anticipated smartphone to consumers for a very reasonable price – free! Amazon has designs on grabbing a valid share of the growing market for smartphones by undercutting the giants in the field.
Whether Amazon will actually offer its new smartphone for free remains to be seen. However, should the company succeed in luring consumers away from other smartphone makers by doing so, it could very well change the whole game in the smartphone field. If Amazon offers a free device and draws market share from the likes of Apple and Samsung, it would make those companies reevaluate their own pricing structure for their offerings. Those larger companies might even have to take the drastic action of reducing their process across the board or offering devices for free in order to compete with the online retailer.
Rumors and Speculation
It’s not clear exactly how Amazon would recoup its costs on such a project, but as always, there is ample speculation running rampant online. Sources close to Amazon have confirmed that the company is considering offering its smartphone for free, but there are also murmurs that the online retailer could require consumers who take them up on the offer to enroll in (and pay for) a loyalty program like Amazon Prime. The sources have said that Amazon wants to be able to provide free smartphones even for consumers who do not sign up for a wireless contract. Most wireless providers will provide deeply discounted or free devices when a consumer signs up for a one- or two-year contract when the purchase is made. The whole point of Amazon’s “free smartphone” plan is to make such restrictions less prohibitive for those who cannot or choose not to sign up for a long-term service contract. The company has reportedly been in talks with various wireless carriers in an effort to discern which ones might be willing to get the Amazon smartphone into their lineup.
Planning for the Future
While Amazon has not yet tossed its hat into the smartphone ring, it’s highly likely that they will announce their intention to do so at some point in the near future. With Apple getting ready to roll out the next generation of iPhones and Samsung having just unveiled the Galaxy Note 3, a nudge from Amazon that causes the companies to rethink their price points could prove to be a nightmare in both the near- and long-term outlooks of both tech giants.
No part of the plan is currently carved in stone, but Amazon’s smartphone would probably appear on the Amazon.com site and be offered directly to consumers. The company still has lots of logistics to work out before they could even begin to offer their version of a smartphone device. Financial considerations for manufacturers are still being hammered out and the device may or may not be available anytime soon. There is a lot of speculation among tech bloggers that Amazon even having such a strategy is indicative of how the online retailer plans to get into the smartphone market, and that they are more than willing to undercut the other guys to start making a mark in the field of smartphone devices.