On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, Amazon has scheduled a new product announcement. A lot of the talk, online, is about the likelihood this new product will prove to be an Amazon smart phone. But, of all this talk, only one writer, David Streitfield, of the New York Times, in an article titled With an Amazon Smartphone, the Retailer Seeks a Tether to Consumers appears to appreciate the urgency, for Amazon, to debut yet another smart phone. Mr. Streitfield alludes to the inevitability of Amazon taking a very late step into a very mature smartphone market: “Now Amazon is giving this brutal business a shot. On the one hand, analysts say, it has no choice. On the other, the rewards could be tremendous.”
Actually, perhaps it is more accurate to say Mr. Streitfield reports on some analysts who actually appreciate why Amazon actually has no choice but to take this step. But why is Amazon forced into this move? Unfortunately, Mr. Streitfield provides no further detail on this point, beyond painting a picture of a likely shrinking market for the various items in its massive inventory and offering to consumers, if search engines, like Google, continue to roll in further enhancements to their location based search features.
This writer caught more of a tangible sense of why Amazon might need to take this step when he attempted to use his Amazon Prime account to watch “Amazon Prime” instant videos on his Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2.1, and/or his Surface 2 tablets. Neither device would run the videos. This writer experienced no problems running the instant videos on a desktop PC, but the tablets would not work,
A discouraging message came up when he tried to play an Instant Video on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2.1. The message amounted to a warning the video would not be able to be played on this device, so try playing it on a PC.
With the Android O/S deeply entrenched in the position of the most popular smart phone (and tablet) O/S, by far, Amazon cannot afford, much longer, not to have a viewer of its own for this market. If an Amazon smart phone is an effort to solve this big problem, and, at the same time, a reliable player for Android and Windows 8.1 Mobile Devices is also announced, then the decision will likely be the right one for Amazon to have made.
But the question still remains — why do is there no player for these other mobile device O/Ss? Does Amazon’s position in the Instant Video market, as a competitor to Google Play, and Samsung’s own online entertainment marketing effort, have anything to do with it?
The answer to this question is a likely “yes.” If Amazon implemented the same bully negotiating style it called on for its issues with Hatchette, with Google Play, Samsung, and even the Windows Store, the the lack of a viewer on any of these platforms makes sense.
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