Amazon Working on New ‘Ice’ Smartphone
Two years ago Amazon put a nail in the coffin and effectively killed off its Fire smartphone. One of the biggest tech companies is working on a new lineup of smartphones codenamed Ice, the reports suggest.
Saying that the Amazon Fire phone was a big flop is an understatement. The device used Fire OS, which was a weird flavor of Android lacking Google Mobile Services, and riddled with little Amazon features. It was also very expensive taking its hardware specification as a merit, though subsequent price drops and sales made it a decent value. Users were also reporting software issues that should not really happen in a top tier device, though.
The Fire Phone carrying Amazon’s logo quickly flamed out. AT&T dropped the price from $200 to $0.99 in just two months after release. Three months after the launch, Amazon took a $170 million charge to wipe out the lost value of its unsold Fire Phones, adding that it still had $83 million in inventory at the end of that period.
Unlike the Fire Phone, which had been aimed at Western markets, Amazon plans to release its Ice smartphone in India. Considering how many cheap Chinese devices are already available in India, Amazon faces quite a bit of competition, given these OEMs operate on razor-thin margins and sport cheaper Mediatek SoCs in their devices.
We still don’t know much about the phone that is internally called the Ice. One person close to Amazon has seen the device and gave some details about its specifications. The smartphone will have a display between 5.2-inches and 5.5-inches diagonal. Other specifications of the phone include a 13-megapixel rear camera, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. The unimpressive setup is completed with octa-core Snapdragon 435 SoC and a fingerprint scanner on the back. Surprisingly, the Amazon’s phone will not come with Fire OS, but Android 7.1.1 with Google AI Assistant and the set of Google services. The phone didn’t have Alexa on it, but this might change before the announcement. Amazon didn’t have a chance to launch its voice-activated personal assistant in India before.
The Amazon Ice, or whatever it will be called, will be announced this year, according to the report. The device is likely to be priced at around Rs6,000 (~$93). Will Amazon succeed this time? Time will tell.
Do you think that Amazon has a chance attract customers in emerging markets? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Gadgets 360°