It could be a coincidence, but then again, maybe not. Either way, it seems all but certain that Amazon will finally unveil its very own smartphone later today at a launch event in Seattle.
And that could have a great deal to do with the “day-long boot camps,” “classes” and tutorials that Amazon is conducting “free of charge” in its brick-and-mortar pop-up cloud store in San Francisco.
Reports indicate the new “device,” which was probably developed in Amazon’s Silicon Valley-based hardware Lab126, will be different than the iPhone and the Android devices we use today because it will have a 3-D, Google glass-type interface.
Chances are good that even the most experienced smart phone app developers might benefit from one-on-one tutorials (like you get at the Genius Bar at Apple) or need some related training to make the most of the new device’s capabilities.
After all, in order for a new smartphone to make a dent in today’s market, its apps and services have to be incredible. And it seems that at least some of those built for Amazon’s forthcoming device already may be.
The video teaser Amazon sent out earlier this month had device testers making plenty of enthusiastic comments like “Awesome” and “It moves with me” when they experienced “it” for the first time.
It’s Not About Device Sales
In case it isn’t obvious, the reason Amazon wants you to own its phone is anyone else’s (reminder, smartphone manufacturers don’t make money by selling devices) is because it becomes your window to its “mall.” The mall’s (aka Amazon’s) window to all you do, everywhere you go, who you work or go to school with, when and where you travel, who your friends are and maybe even what you pay attention to and what you ignore.
Talk about big data and predictive analytics…
The data scientists gathering in Amazon’s Cloud Store could be doing exactly that. And when it comes to Amazon Cloud Store’s environment, the cappuccinos and M&M’s — all must-haves for geeks.
With all of this being said, does the big burly bouncer who guards the front of the Amazon Cloud store surprise us in the least? We don’t think so.
And, by the way, our conclusions wouldn’t change even if Amazon’s “device” turns out to be something other than a phone. Anything that collects personal data would do...
And Consider This
The physical store, the rumored phone — all this — this comes at a time when Amazon, the nation’s largest e-commerce company, is grappling with some significant challenges. Its stock, which surged for years despite narrow profits, has dropped 18 percent in 2014 to about $326, in part because investors have been losing patience with its habit of plowing revenue back into new ventures.
The phone could be a big deal, not only for Amazon but also for AT&T. According to The Wall Street Journal, which cites "people familiar with the plans," AT&T will exclusively carry Amazon's smartphone. We'll learn more at the event, which kicks off at 10:30 a.m. PDT (1:30 p.m. EDT).
Omissions More than Lies
Now we’re not suggesting that Amazon was misspeaking when it said its “store” was there to help startups "learn more about our services and features from AWS solution architects, product managers and evangelists."
In fact, that’s spot-on. It’s just not the whole story.
We suspect we’re telling you another side of it — or at least something similar.
Of course, we’ll probably never know. But come on. Our speculation makes more sense than an AWS store coincidentally popping-up just before a product launch.