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Amazon Reportedly Launching Smartphone This Year

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the bookstores-building-gadgets dept.

Cellphones 38

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is working on a smartphone for release in the second half of the year. They're currently aiming to announce it by July and launch the end of September. One of the differentiating features of the phone is its capability to display 3-D images. "..the phone would employ retina-tracking technology embedded in four front-facing cameras, or sensors, to make some images appear to be 3-D, similar to a hologram." However, it may not be just a gimmick for 3-D movies and TV shows: "Sources tell Re/code that one advantage of this display will supposedly be that the phone can be moved from right to left to navigate, so a user can interact with the interface with only one hand." The report's sources say Amazon has been demonstrating the phone for developers in San Francisco and Seattle, but they're likely to have difficulty luring developers away from established platforms.

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Amazon Phone = NSA Backdoors (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46733055)

Who needs another microsoft NSA backdoored phone. Geez, you really want to be a spy casualty? Reject Amazon and Microsoft and anyone else who sells out your privacy to the NSA.

Re:Amazon Phone = NSA Backdoors (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#46733215)

It's not like there are no winners here, doomsayer.

The added competition should at least drive down the retail price of the information for the NSA.

And can't poor Jeff get a little slice of the smartphone pie. I understand he has drones to build, and the butler in his third home only has a single assistant.

Re:Amazon Phone = NSA Backdoors (3, Interesting)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46733317)

The best use for delivery drones is not Amazon purchases. This doesn't happen often enough, it's vendor-specific and it's too concentrated around their warehouses. Compared to other usages, it's a drop in an ocean.

You need to target something that will be viable even in the smallest of towns:

1. medication, because pills are small and light enough. Ideal candidate for the first phase using very small, low-cost lightweight drones.

2. fast-food and restaurant deliveries, because if you remove drinks, it's medium-weight items at best (pizza, burgers, chicken, fries, etc). It can be faster and cheaper than driving, there's no stopping at red lights so there's less chances for the food to cool down. Just have the container insulated like the pizza delivery bags.

3. small groceries items, maybe put a weight and volume limit on the deliveries. How often do we have to get there to get that one or two item(s) that we need to complete a recipe or a meal? This drone would benefit from having a cooled container for the items.

Okay, totally off-topic for the thread, but on-topic as a reply to the parent post.

Re:Amazon Phone = NSA Backdoors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46734639)

poop head. i pooped on your head.

Re:Amazon Phone = NSA Backdoors (2)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 4 months ago | (#46734909)

1. medication, because pills are small and light enough. Ideal candidate for the first phase using very small, low-cost lightweight drones.

Huge liability risk if your drone crashes and an unintended person gets hold of the pills/medications.

You'll never see drone-delivery of medications in a heavy regulation / frequent litigation country. Especially not prescription medications.

Re:Amazon Phone = NSA Backdoors (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 months ago | (#46735099)

I can't see them using this for medication.

There is no guarantee the right person is available to accept it, and there are too many people willing to do whatever it takes to get pills.

Welcome (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46733067)

Welcome to the smartphone market. Good luck and may your product be successful!

3D is going to mean jack shit (2)

rolfwind (528248) | about 4 months ago | (#46733145)

3D has been met between a variation of "MEH!" and "meh" after the initial oohs and ahs wore off for theaters and consoles and TVs. It's a feature people take but don't care about.

What will help Amazon get into the game is if it's divorced from carriers and does better pricing on that front. Kinda like how a kindle can get (slow) internet connectivity elsewhere. If it can get people a smartphone for $30~ish a month voice and data. Then it will be cool and a game changer. Otherwise it's just another phone in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Re:3D is going to mean jack shit (3, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46733253)

Even at 30$ per month it's still too expensive. Basic plans are already that low if not lower, even in Canada.

Re:3D is going to mean jack shit (1)

InsultsByThePound (3603437) | about 4 months ago | (#46734681)

Really? I mean on a decent network? In the US, I see the cheaper networks are usually the shitty ones.

Re:3D is going to mean jack shit (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46735207)

We don't have "shitty networks". We have one to three networks, all the others are buying bandwidth from those. That's why all plans from all carriers are 95% alike in price, minutes, sms, data, etc.

Re:3D is going to mean jack shit (1)

InsultsByThePound (3603437) | about 4 months ago | (#46736543)

Doesn't TMobile have much shittier coverage than ATT and Verizon, I mean?

Re:3D is going to mean jack shit (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 4 months ago | (#46735721)

If it can get people a smartphone for $30~ish a month voice and data. Then it will be cool and a game changer.

You mean, like T-mobile with a SIM?

Re:3D is going to mean jack shit (1)

quenda (644621) | about 4 months ago | (#46737297)

You mean, like T-mobile with a SIM?

You mean, the US still has phones without SIMs? Locked to a carrier!?
No wonder cell-phone plans are so expensive compared to the rest of the world then. (When most things are cheaper in the US.)
Its sad. The US once led the world in antitrust law enforcement.

Re:3D is going to mean jack shit (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 4 months ago | (#46752523)

You mean, like T-mobile with a SIM?

You mean, the US still has phones without SIMs? Locked to a carrier!? No wonder cell-phone plans are so expensive compared to the rest of the world then. (When most things are cheaper in the US.) Its sad. The US once led the world in antitrust law enforcement.

The point was that you can get voice and data with a SIM for around $30. I did. I do. It wasn't that hard to figure out how.

If there was that big a demand for it, it would happen more often. Apparently more than one factor is at work.

I dub thee "Porn Phone" (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#46733171)

one advantage of this display will supposedly be that the phone can be moved from right to left to navigate, so a user can interact with the interface with only one hand.

Well we all know what that means.

Re:I dub thee "Porn Phone" (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#46733205)

They're trying to catch up to Blackberry?

They're masters of the one-handed interface.

Not similar to a hologram (2)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 4 months ago | (#46733199)

in the slightest. It's like saying "In a movie theatre images are projected onto a screen, similar to the eye."

Free phone (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46733201)

What we need is a phone that's free to use. The first company to achieve that goal wins the game.

Re:Free phone (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#46733221)

I can see it now.

Hold on Mom, I'll be right back. I have to watch another commercial first.

Re:Free phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46733249)

The first comment to mention the word "free", how is it redundant?

Re:Free phone (2)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#46733601)

FreedomPop.com
Free to use... but limited.

Re:Free phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46735199)

And limited to the USA, as usual.

Try as hard as you want, Amazon (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 4 months ago | (#46733291)

You're still always gonna be the Walmart of the internet.

Re:Try as hard as you want, Amazon (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#46733383)

Walmart is far more honorable than Amazon in pretty much every way.

Bezos and Ellison compete for biggest cheating asshole possible.

Re:Try as hard as you want, Amazon (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#46733587)

Walmart and Amazon honorable?
AFAIK both of these companies abuse and underpay their employees. No honor in working there. No honor in buying stuff there.

Re:Try as hard as you want, Amazon (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 4 months ago | (#46734841)

I buy there a lot, and I have a lot of honor. So stuff it.

Re:Try as hard as you want, Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46734325)

You obviously don't know jack fucking shit about walmart then.

Re:Try as hard as you want, Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46733393)

and this is a bad thing why?

Re:Try as hard as you want, Amazon (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 4 months ago | (#46733411)

...and the Barnes and Noble, and the Target, and the Kohls, and the Nordstrom, and the Sears, and the Best Buy, and the Gamestop...

You're still always gonna be the Walmart of the internet.

If someone is going to create a privacy invading (1, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#46733379)

phone, more so than Google and even Facebook ... Amazon will do it.

Scummiest company on the planet.

Re:If someone is going to create a privacy invadin (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 4 months ago | (#46734853)

What do you think this? I've always felt comfortable with my data at Amazon, much more so than Google or Facebook.

Amazon Android + Locked bootloader? nnnoo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46733471)

Given the fact that the Kindle Fire HD/HDX has a locked bootloader, I think it's a fair guess that this will too. Which means I'd be locked into Amazon's bastardized ad-infested Android, which means I'm not buying this and will advise anyone I know to stay far, far away.

Re:Amazon Android + Locked bootloader? nnnoo. (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#46733615)

The Fire "marketplace" is a pathetic second to just about any other marketplace. I'm sure their phone marketplace will be the same.

Why not a Walmart phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46733719)

They see the dollar signs, and think that throwing a few billion dollars at the mobile market could be a good investment.

They're wrong.

Amazon know nothing about phone development. If they bought an existing manufacturer (a la MSFT and Nokia), I would take their attempt more seriously.

Why would Amazon ditch Android? (2)

sarysa (1089739) | about 4 months ago | (#46734863)

Regarding this last statement:

they're likely to have difficulty luring developers away from established platforms.

Kindle is already built on top of Android, and Amazon has partnerships with Android developers already. It's also a time-proven platform that's becoming ever more insurmountable for anyone trying to get their own platform off the ground. (take Windows Phone 8, and Microsoft had a decade head start) With all that stated, why is TFA assuming that this new smartphone would have anything but Android as their backbone?

Re:Why would Amazon ditch Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46735173)

...why is TFA assuming that this new smartphone would have anything but Android as their backbone?

Yeah why couldn't the article have said something like

Reports of an Amazon-branded smartphone have been circulating in the rumor mill for years, with the expectation the phone would run a version of the Android operating system that already powers Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets.

Retina, right (2)

cripkd (709136) | about 4 months ago | (#46736387)

I'm pretty sure they track the pupil and/or the iris, not the retina.
This is not for id purposes nor is this a James Bond movie.
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