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Amazon Fire: Here's The Rub

Amazon's new Fire smartphone makes sense for Jeff Bezos, but not for us. The "ultimate" shopping experience should be made available as an app, not as hardware.

Amazon finally unveiled Wednesday its long-anticipated smartphone. So what's the verdict?

Dubbed Fire Phone, it incorporates a couple of differentiated technologies such as Firefly and dynamic perspective. I find them impressive.

Yet I don't think I'm alone regarding Amazon's strategy -- pushing its own hardware, not the app, so closely tied to its own store and services -- somewhat puzzling and even a little offensive. With so many smartphones to choose from, why would any consumers opt for a Fire Phone, which is blatantly self-serving for Amazon and doesn't even include the Google Play store?

Database of coded objects

First, let's talk technology. Integrated into the phone is Firefly, a feature that's designed to recognize over 100 million items, according to Amazon, from the information Fire Phone captures through its cameras and microphone.

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