Amazon might be working on another phoneJuly 29, 2018
It looks as though Amazon is thinking about reentering the phone market. During the company’s presentation yesterday at the Television Critics Association press tour — in which Amazon released a slew of updates regarding some of its upcoming television projects — Amazon Studio head Jen Salke was asked if the company was working on a new phone, according to TheWrap. She indicated that she’s not only seen a prototype with a new interface, but that she has one in her office.
Salke, who manages the company’s growing studio efforts, says that she hasn’t “felt an urgency to put a deadline on it,” and that the company “had a prototype phone that showed me the interface that they’re working on that’s about to be — that’s in the middle of being developed and coming soon.”
She went on to say that she criticized some of what she saw, and says that “they actually created and sent me a prototype phone that’s in my office” and described the phone as being intuitive to use. There’s no indication of any sort of timeline or even if the company will produce such a phone, or if it’s just experimenting with one. We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment.
Amazon has been in the hardware business for over a decade now: its Kindle is a mainstay for readers, and its Fire tablet has found success since it was launched in 2011. In 2014, the company made a short-lived foray into the phone business with its Fire Phone, only to get axed a year later after poor reviews. There’s been other hints as well: last week, the company released its quarterly earnings report, revealing that the company turned a profit of $2.5 billion dollars in the second quarter. One line in the report, that the company wants its “customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are,” excited some analysts, fueling speculation that the company could be looking to reenter the phone market with a new device.
One of the criticisms of the Fire Phone was its user interface — its three-pane structure was described as fun and useful, but that it was hampered by “unintuitive, convoluted navigation.” Salke’s hint that Amazon is working closely on figuring out a more intuitive interface seems like the company is learning from its previous mistakes.
Given Amazon’s efforts to dominate not only the retail market, as well as its efforts to elbow its way into a prominent position in the streaming video market, having a device where a Prime member can watch its content from anywhere makes sense — provided whatever it produces can stand up against its competitors that already dominate the market.