Kindle Phone thoughts
- What will Amazon do to handle Patent claims against Kindle Phone? The most recent twist in the smart phone and tablet Patent Wars between Apple and Samsung is that some older models of AT&T iPhones are banned from being imported into the US. The ban is over 3G essential Samsung patents – not a good precedent.
- IDC expects smartphones to grow 32.7% this year and surpass feature phones in sales. IDC thinks lower prices and the rise of strong emerging markets. which are expected to see 45.4% growth, will lead to this huge growth in smart phones. Kindle Phone will almost certainly be low-priced. The question is – Will it be US only? OR will Amazon also target emerging markets like China and India?
- Interestingly, 70.9% of all smartphones sold in 2013 are expected to be 3G enabled ones. If Patent cases are being won based on 3G essential patents, then what hope do new entrants in the smart phone market have?
- Is there a possibility that Amazon will sell Kindle Phone at super cheap prices and then sell profitable data and voice plans? Could it possibly have struck a deal to buy bandwidth and become a wireless provider itself?
- It becomes more and more important for Amazon to ship Kindle Phone in 2013. Of course, it has to be a very impressive device to make any headway in the ultra-competitive smart phone market.
Kindle Phone is perhaps the one Kindle device I’m most looking forward to.
Kindle TV Musings
- Amazon struck a deal with Viacom today for exclusive access to a bunch of kids’ shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, iCarly, and Victorious. There are 3,900 episodes of TV shows from Nick Jr, Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central included in the deal.
- Everyone is talking about the new Amazon-Viacom deal being dangerous to Netflix (which apparently no longer has rights for these shows). However, what if all this is meant for Kindle TV?
- Side Note: Netflix now plans on spending 10% of its content budget on self-produced shows. An excellent idea.
- Microsoft’s Xbox One is shaping up as a terrific device. It will be a real challenge for Apple TV, Kindle TV, Roku, and other devices to compete with Xbox One. The price is rumored to be $399. There is also rumored to be a cheaper option if you get a 2 year subscription to Xbox Gold.
- Kindle TV might be free with Amazon Prime. The more you think about it, the more it seems that Amazon is going to go for a low price like $50 or, even more likely, a ‘free’ Kindle TV with Amazon Prime.
Kindle Watch Thoughts
- PVI eInk, the same company that makes the eInk screen for eInk Kindles, has announced a 1.73″ screen ideally suited to making smart watches. It’ll be called Mobius. It would be suited for Kindle Watch if Amazon decides to go with eInk. However, my hope is that Amazon goes with an IGZO LCD screen instead. The eInk screen looks super unimpressive.
- Sonostar’s Sono smart watch is the first watch actually using this screen. Bonus points for choosing an utterly drab name to go with the black and white screen.
- The big benefits of using eInk for watches – readable in sunlight, low battery consumption, this is a curved eInk screen so the watches can be curved, the display can be cut into different shapes,
- It’s a 1.73″ eInk display with 320 by 240 pixels screen resolution and 16 greyscale levels.
- Initially, it seemed eInk Mobius would be a good choice for Kindle Watch. However, the combination of low screen resolution and black and white display makes for a rather drab and uninspiring watch. Really hope Amazon goes with IPS LCD or IGZO LCD screens instead. Perhaps come up with some innovative way to recharge the watch based on movement or sunlight.
While everyone is previewing devices that aren’t ready to ship, Apple and Samsung perhaps have really solid wearable computing devices almost ready to ship. Fall 2013 or Spring 2014 is when we will get to see what they have to offer.
Kindle Fire HD 2 Musings
- The single biggest thing Amazon could do to make Kindle Fire HD 2 sell well? Add in all the little things that don’t lead to people buying things at Amazon i.e. camera and app, video camera app, a very good email app, better support for the big social websites.
- What could Amazon do to make Kindle Fire HD 2 better for reading? It’s interesting that ‘Reading Tablets’ from B&N and Amazon are not really any better for reading than general tablets. There’s a lot of talk of anti-glare screens and such. However, the software and usability is where the real improvements in the reading experience can be made. No amount of anti-glare film (or mention of such) can lead to LCDs being readable in sunlight. So just focus on stuff that ACTUALLY helps.
- Cut down on the Marketing Overload. It works for Apple because they spend insane amounts of time polishing things. It’s not going to work for Kindle Fire HD 2 made for economy Tablet buyers. Just focus on the Actual Strengths. The one exception is comparing your $199 Tablet to Apple’s premium Tablets. Those comparisons are great because the Press are so in love with Apple they can’t resist attacking Kindle Fire HD (and thus giving it free publicity).
- Launch internationally, if at all possible. Amazon loses a lot of sales with every device launch by doing these massively staggered launches. Kindle Fire HD 2 for US in Fall 2013, and for rest of the world in Spring 2014, would just be bad strategy.
- It’d be good if Amazon focused on the core Tablet Use Cases. It’s strange how Amazon still doesn’t seem to be willing to admit that the main Tablet use cases are things like browsing, email, reading, taking photos.
- It would be great if Amazon didn’t do yet another iterative Kindle release and instead added some big, important things in Kindle Fire HD 2.
It’s hard to say what direction Amazon will take Kindle Fire HD 2 in. It’s dangerously close to turning the Kindle Fire HD into a stunted Tablet. Things like hiding the camera app and adding Ads as screen savers just walk in the opposite direction of ‘The Best Tablet … at any price’.
Amazon’s Advertising Secret Income Stream
- We’ve talked about how advertising is a promising new business for Amazon. Apparently, according to eMarketer, Amazon is set to make a massive $835 million in advertising revenue in 2013. Of course, Amazon is hard at work trying to build some extra data centers and find other capital investments – lest most of this $835 million turn into profits.