amazon-fire-phone-2-release-date-unconfirmed-2017

Will Amazon ever launch another Fire Phone?

In Op-Ed, Tech by Viv7 Comments

Amazon’s Fire Phone, as we all know by now, was a flop. Launched with a $600 price, only to be discounted to less than half in a couple of months, Amazon was left with thousands of unsold units. Although the Fire Phone was a good idea, its implementation was faulty and Android users was not happy about how Fire OS was developed, without core Google functions. Jeff Bezos last year hinted at the fact that Amazon would be launching at least two more Fire Phone flagships, but ever since then, nothing has happened in this realm. However, Amazon launched the Echo, a vastly successful personal assistant based on voice commands only. At the same time, Lab126, Amazon’s hardware team, is working on another project called project C, which we know very little about.

In a Bloomberg report, former and current members of Lab126 revealed that they had worked on four projects, A, B, C and D. A stands for Kindle, B stands for the Fire Phone and D stand for the Amazon Echo. Although some insiders might have suggested project C as the new Fire Phone, it’s now more than unlikely for that to happen. Amazon has turned away from the smartphone business and has demonstrated that is abilities to create high-quality, practical hardware lie elsewhere than in smartphones.

Bezos, Amazon CEO, has shown his passion for the Fire Phone and admitted to mistakes they had made when creating the first generation of the device. Nonetheless, he had reiterated that they would continue working on improving their smartphone business and will eventually launch another Fire Phone in 2017.  However, information out of Lab126 seems to contradict that information or rather suggest that the smartphone business was either separated from the main hardware business or scraped altogether. It seems as though Amazon is focused on more futuristic endeavors that have a lot to do with augmented reality. There’s little to be know about this project C endeavor, but it’s an interesting turn of events that suggests Amazon is not really going to keep its focus on the smartphone world.

Moving away from the Fire Phone might not be something Amazon is considering right now and there are still rumors about the company having one up its sleeves for either the end of 2016 or 2017. Nonetheless, analysts are saying that if the e-commerce giant does consider releasing a Fire Phone 2, it won’t be positioned like the first device was. Instead of launching a flagship with a premium price tag, Amazon’s new Fire Phone 2 would be a mid-ranger focused on integrating with other Amazon services. Much like the Amazon Echo, Kindle and Dash button, a new Fire Phone would rely on Amazon’s e-commerce business and act as an intermediary for shopping adventures, all the while delivering an Android experience that has proven itself very important to many Amazon customers.

If a Fire Phone 2 was launched, I would expect the device to focus on making shopping via Amazon easier. Accomplishing that could be done in various ways, but the first thing that should be considered is using some kind of scanning function or augmented reality for comparison purposes. For example, when a Fire Phone 2 user finds themselves in a convenience store, they could just point their device at a product and see comparisons between the product and Amazon’s own library of stuff, either on the phone’s screen or via a projected augmented reality image in front of them.

At the same time, mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular, just like biometric security, so these would be features Amazon has to consider implementing if it wants a Fire Phone 2 that actually sells more than a thousand units. Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Wallet and many others are getting more and more attention across the world and it would be convenient for Amazon to introduce its own mobile payment platform on the Fire Phone. However, it would be an even better idea to consider a wearable device in order to implement this feature.

Instead of launching another expensive Fire Phone with a user experience that feels clunky and outdated, Amazon could consider a wearable device that can do the same thing. An Amazon fitness tracker and assistant seems like the next best thing a company as large as Amazon should consider. With mobile payments via NFC and Amazon’s own service, biometric security in the form of a fingerprint sensor embedded in the display, a QR code reader in a camera conveniently placed on the side, a heart-rate monitor and Bluetooth would be enough for such a device to become the way to take consumerism one step further. The Amazon Echo is doing a good job of interlacing consumerism with useful information, and the same strategy could be implemented in a wearable device that customers can take with them anywhere.

For example, while using an Amazon wearable to track your morning run, one might find themselves realizing they need a new pair of shoes. They could easily ask the wearable via voice commands to place an order for the shoes they are wearing or show them similar footwear that they could purchase. They could connect Bluetooth headsets to the device and listen to music on Amazon Prime services, and buy new albums while running with a swipe of the finger. They could order fresh groceries to wait for them when they get back home. They could sign up for marathons in their area as they run. It would be quite a practical implementation of consumerism and laziness, and people would love it.

However, the same thing could be done with a new Fire Phone 2. With how technology is advancing and how Amazon seems to be wiggling itself to the forefront, a lot of things are made possible. Right now, we don’t know for sure what kind of augmented reality project Lab126 are working on and the fate of the Fire Phone 2 seems to be uncertain at best. Regardless of how many rumors are going around when it comes to Amazon hardware, the company is very secretive about their practices and we will only find out more when we’re getting close to a release. If Amazon were to launch a wearable or Fire Phone 2 aimed at making shopping easier, would you consider buying one?

Viv

I believe tech and its place in our society is a process that will forever be in development, as long as we look to science. It's important that we keep track of what's going on and what we can access. There are new technologies being implemented everyday, and the more we know, the better.

Comments

  1. I would suggest Amazon offering an Alexa powered Fire Phone and becoming an MVNO and offering something like a “Prime Phone” or “Prime Plus” service for let’s say $150-$200 a year that included unlimited talk/text/500 mb data per month to subscribers on a Fire smartphone in addition to current Prime features.
    The sales of the phone would then have the snowball effect of boosting the sale of Prime subscriptions as well as many of the other products Amazon sells.The amazon home page is one of the most prime selling spots in the world and I still believe the Fire Phone could be a huge success if they did this.

    I think there is a huge market waiting for the company that will offer unlimited talk/text and at least 500mb data for $10 a month or less AND get it in retail stores like walmart/best buy (or on the Amazon home page if Amazon does this.)If amazon did this,it could take a large chunk of marketshare from apple and samsung.On the other hand, it also could be done by a company that offered ultra low cost service for apple and samsung phones as well.
    It seems obvious to me that the best way for an alternative OS to have any chance against android/iOS is to pair it with a low cost phone service.

    As of now I only pay $10 a month combined for my home phone service and mobile phone service using a combination of magicjack and tracfone.
    -Magicjack GO for home phone service for $3/month(includes magicApp)
    -MagicApp for free unlimited mobile talk/text over WiFi on android/apple smartphones tablets.Works on 3G/4G too.
    – limited tracfone cellular talk/text /data for $7/month for when WiFi is unavailable.I use the magicApp on an android tracfone.

    But many people won’t use my method for whatever reason.Many people are simply unaware of this method,find it to confusing or maybe they are waiting for one phone service to offer them this kind of value in a simpler way on one device with one plan that can be bought in a retail store and used immediately.Something with this kind of value that works out of the box without having to hopefully discover and download an app that most people don’t even know exists.

    Although the Fire phone is now gone,I don’t think we have heard the last from amazon in the mobile phone area as it is WAY too important a device if you want to connect with consumers/customers.For some,the mobile phone is the only “computer” they use,or what they use 90% of the time.When amazon unlocked the Fire phone and lowered the price the phone started selling very well as it climbed to the top of the best sellers list in the “electronics” category on Amazon.I think they could sell 2 or 3 models in different price ranges if they were to match competing phones specs at lower prices.

    1. Amazon fire phone is the best phone ever!!!!! I need there to be a fire phone 2!!!!! I LOVE my fire phone…. I would never give it up for nothing,,, except the fire phone 2 . I will be more than happy to be the first to try the new phone!!!!??? I cannot wait, but please let me afford it,or like I said I would be more than happy to try it out and tell the world how fabulous it is!!!!

  2. I agree 100% with Tracey Kelley!!! I want a Fire Phone 2! I love mine so much! But I would wish for more updates! There is no wahatsapp update for a long time… And I cannot connect with my E-Mail account. It is not possible. But besides that, I love it!!!!!! 🙂

  3. I have the first Fire Phone, and while the hardware is solid, the stock interface was clunky, there were too many gimmicks, and battery life is poor. Also, no Amazon Underground and you have to sideload Google Apps and Play Store.

    I agree somewhat with Thelep. Amazon would be better off reselling T-Mobile (like Wal-Mart) and rolling it in as an add-on service to Prime, make it so anything streamed from Amazon does not count against your data, and any phone can join the plan. If they want to sell a fire phone, keep it simple, allow google maps, and above all else don’t give it five front facing cameras!!!!

  4. I love my fire phone and refuse to trade it in for a newer more updated phone. This phone has everything I could need in a smartphone. I love the carousel and the swivel tilt features. Yes, the battery life sucks, but that’s why I have a case with an extra battery built in. I just recently found out how to side load, so the complaint of not having a lot of Google offered apps is irrelevant! This is by far the best phone I’ve had, and my last phone was the galaxy s5! I don’t see where people claim this phone to be clunky in any way you look at it, interface or anything, the screen swipes are smooth, display is clear and smooth, apps and texting are smooth… not sure what everyone means by clunky… And Cymek, not sure if you’re aware or not, there are 4 sensors, one on each corner of the phone that gives you the dynamic view/tilt/swivel features.. they’re not actual cameras. The only camera is the one located near the middle and on the back.

  5. Fire Phone is the best phone I have ever had. I, too, side loaded the Google Apps. Combined with Amazon Tools and Google apps, nothing beats this phone!!

    Please launch a Fire Phone 2!!

Care to share your thoughts?