Amazon’s hardware strategy: whatever it takes

Images are circulating around the web purporting to show images of a supposed Amazon smartphone. Looks like any other smartphone. Well, duh, yes. But, who cares?

The image above is the first to reveal the design of Amazon’s debut smartphone. Multiple trusted sources have verified the authenticity of the image, which was created for internal use by graphic designers at Amazon.

As can be seen in this new image published exclusively by BGR, Amazon’s phone will feature an overall look that is similar to many full touch smartphones currently on the market. In fact, it appears to take design cues from several existing smartphones including Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy S lineup and even the HTC One, which has a polished, chamfered bezel much like the one seen on Amazon’s phone.

In terms of size, we’re told that the phone is a bit large but is reasonably comfortable to use with one hand. Amazon’s unique gesture controls were designed in part to make one-handed operation of a large phone as easy as possible, and one source tells us the phone definitely succeeds in that regard.


Amazon has a hardware strategy and it is significantly better than anything any of its competitors can manage right now. In fact, Amazon seems to be alone in having a hardware strategy that is coherent and perfectly in line with its core business objectives.

Full disclosure: I am a fan of Amazon because they treat me pretty good as a customer. I have an Amazon Fire TV and it has finally convinced the family that it is time to put to rest the slow, noisy, and expensive Tivo box that has seemed indispensable for so many years.

Do I really care whether Roku or Apple TV are better or not? Not really. It’s television and movies. I have enough viewable vegetable matter to last me a lifetime with what I got, and if I am really stuck, a $35 Chromecast dongle is taking care of everything that Amazon cannot handle, ie, HBO Go.

If Amazon has an Android phone its success can’t be measured by comparisons to Samsung or Apple. The only thing that Amazon has to do is not embarrass itself.

The only embarrassment is if no one buys an Amazon phone and that is not going to happen. And, every user of an Amazon hardware device – tablet, TV box, or phone – is an Amazon customer who is truly One Click away from buying something from Amazon. 

And when it comes to buying stuff, you cannot find fault with Amazon on its execution of online retail. It is the standard. When it comes to hardware, they’re not perfect but they are efficient and they execute.

So, maybe the snarky comments about Amazon hardware will continue but it will continue to make hardware, optimize its software using teams of engineers dedicated to the task, create solid, reliable gadgets and services, and sell more stuff through these devices with a lower customer acquisition cost.