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Amazon Fire: 6 Key Points
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ANON1241631011972
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ANON1241631011972,
User Rank: Strategist
6/20/2014 | 12:55:45 PM
Re: Convenient Oversight
I am not making a moral (good vs. bad) judgment.  Only an evaluation based on my personal biases and experience as to whether the Fire phone is likely to compete favorably with the more established systems in the market.  And, given that it offers no compelling inducement to differentiate it over its established competition, I think it will flounder until it comes up with something that sets it apart more distinctly.  As with any "monkey trap," the fruit must be delicious enought to attract voluntary prisoners.  In this case, I think it isn't.  We will see if the market agrees.
UberGoober
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UberGoober,
User Rank: Strategist
6/20/2014 | 12:48:01 PM
Re: Convenient Oversight
A couple of points of correction:


1:  Sorry, but Eric has been an Apple fanboy going back the half-decade I've been reading IW online.  He's much less flagrant now, but he's lets his biases shine through on a regular basis.  This is obviously one such instance.  Apple is easily as flagrant as Amazon (more militant about keeping the ecosystem closed, actrually), and got there years earlier; that's one reason I, like many other folks, will never buy an Apple product.  Google, by the way goes after ad dollars the way the other two chase purchases, but not everyone considers that less offensive.

2: Why are two closed ecosystems good but three bad?  Its a consumer choice.  Did you feel that way when Google got into competition with Blackberry and Apple?  Or Apple got into competition with Blackberry and Palm?  In this case I prefer pure Android to FireOS (I own both), but I understand that I'm making a personal value judgement that not everyone will agree with (though of course, I'm right!).
ANON1241631011972
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ANON1241631011972,
User Rank: Strategist
6/20/2014 | 12:31:16 PM
Re: Convenient Oversight
P.S.  In fact, I agree with you so much that I routinely root my phones so that I can decide how open or closed I want it to be.  After all, it is my property--paid for either outright at full retail price or, if acquired at a carrier discount, amortized over the life of the contract.  And I object strenuously to either the carrier or a content retailer controlling my property in a manner contrary to my wishes.  I pay them for services--not to dictate my use of my stuff.
ANON1241631011972
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ANON1241631011972,
User Rank: Strategist
6/20/2014 | 12:25:10 PM
Re: Convenient Oversight
Sorry.  Making a gentle jest of your misuse of the word, "neigh," was childishly irresistable.  However, I see now that you seriously think it is an archaic synonum for "nay," which is what we all knew you meant.  That is not the case.  There is no dictionary that equates the two--either modern or archaic.  They all agree on some rendition of these two definitions of neigh (noun and verb):

"neigh (n) n. The long, high-pitched sound made by a horse. intr.v. neighed, neigh·ing, neighs. To utter the characteristic sound of a horse; whinny."

Having disposed of that piece of trivia, I agree with your overall analysis.  I just don't think it is a fair criticism of the author, whose point was simply to say that we don't need another closed system--especially one that is closed around a retailer that lacks the cachet of either an Apple or a Google in the computing/communication/content space.
JoeShmoe9000
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JoeShmoe9000,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2014 | 12:13:42 PM
Re: Convenient Oversight
I'll keep the English strictly modern then, I wouldn't want to lose anyone. The word was ecosystem, not closed system. And unless you jailbreak your phone, it is in fact, a closed system. "They just arent't as useful?" Really? That is a rebuttle? I agree with you on the point of the article, I just think it's fatuous. The iPhone is honestly a device for selling. Consumers just benefit from the fact that is can be used as a communications device. Every Android phone, including the Fire, is trying to play catch-up. Amazon is just trying to get on the same bandwagon that Apple and Google have been riding. They just aren't being at all subtle about it. When the first iPhone and significant Android phones were released, everyone predicted abject failure. They were all, unequivocally, wrong. You also could not buy these phones, through normal consumer channels, unlocked for quite a while. Amazon isn't doing anything different. If they fail, it will because it's just too late for a new player.
ANON1241631011972
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ANON1241631011972,
User Rank: Strategist
6/20/2014 | 12:04:16 PM
Re: Convenient Oversight
"neigh?" really?  insert horselaugh here.  :-)  But, seriously, I don't know how an article about an unbalanced phone can be expected to maintain balance.  You are right that Apple has a closed system.  However, it is hardly fair to claim that, simply because Google sponsors Android, that it is a closed system.  After all, if that were true, the Fire would not even be possible since it is Android based.  And there are other marketplaces for Android apps besides Google--they just aren't as useful.  Sideloading apps is fairly easy on most Android devices--even those that, like Nook and Kindle, try to lock the user in.

So, criticizing the article for not pointing out all of the other closed systems out there seems to me to be missing the point.  The point of the article is that, unlike successful closed systems such as iOS, Amazon is not offering a compensating rich ecosystem for supporting the purpose of the smartphone, itself, to be competitive.  The iPhone is not simply about iTunes and paid apps, for example, although Apple certainly does profit from content as well as communication.
GaryY450
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GaryY450,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2014 | 11:55:26 AM
Amazon Fire
Why in the HELL! Isn't it available in an unlocked version.? I've nothing but bad a experiences with AT&T.
ANON1241631011972
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ANON1241631011972,
User Rank: Strategist
6/20/2014 | 11:52:59 AM
I totally agree!
As an Amazon Prime member, I certainly am no adversary of their business model.  However, my phone is MINE!  I have two objections to the Fire:  First, the single carrier launch.  I understand that there needs to be carrier partnership but ignoring the huge Verizon market is a big mistake.  Second, an Android based phone that deliberately isolates customers from the mature Google apps marketplace is pretty much doomed.

 

Aside from that, as the article points out, the central theme of a phone is to support the customer's needs for multi-dimensional communication.  The heart of the Fire is to create a one-dimensional dependency on Amazon.  I predict this phone will fail to gain market share in the absence of any other compelling feature that compensates a buyer for giving up the more established sources of support and convenience for smartphone users.
JoeShmoe9000
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JoeShmoe9000,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2014 | 11:47:07 AM
Convenient Oversight
While I will grant that Amazon's motivations are the most transparent, neigh flagrant, the thrust of this article rather conveniently ignores the two most dominant operating systems. Android and iOS. Both of which will root the consumer within one ecosystem or another. iPhone's number one purpose is to sell apps, which Apple does in great quantities. That says nothing of the music, movie, and magazine sales. Google may be the lesser offender, but numerous Google branded services are still pushed on the consumer. Try to be a little more balanced next time, please?
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
6/20/2014 | 11:34:03 AM
Google Play concern
Eric isn't the only one raising the Google Play Store concern. See Amazon Fire: Here's The Rub.
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