Amazon’s Fire may be a damp squib


Padraig McGarrigle questions the inclusion of 3D on the Amazon Fire Phone, saying the company should have focused on making a top phone that was cheaper than the iPhone and Galaxy S series 

Amazon, the e-commerce juggernaut, has entered the smartphone party at long last with the Fire Phone – which launched in the US earlier this month.

While we know that the strategy behind the handset is more about getting users to buy through the Amazon site, than taking on Apple and Samsung, the phone’s hardware cannot be ignored.

The most baffling aspect is its use of 3D “Dynamic Perspective” technology, which allows objects to appear as if they are behind one another without the need for special glasses. While it looks good, it seems to be a total gimmick. I haven’t seen one case for the technology that would justify the time and expense of developing it.

3D has never taken off in the mobile industry despite LG pouring millions into its failed Optimus 3D handset, which used the technology only to be dropped like a stone after poor sales. In wider consumer technology, 3D TVs have been a miserable failure while the Nintendo 3DS didn’t fare much better.

It’s also hard to see the advantage of having 3D on a smartphone which is designed to tie users into ordering products and streaming video content from Amazon’s Fire service.

There is very little content on there with 3D capabilities. Instead, Amazon should have focused on getting a top quality handset into consumer’s hands at a price that was cheaper than the iPhone and Galaxy S series.

At a screen resolution of 312 dpi and a price of $649 (£382) SIM-free – UK availability is yet to be announced – Amazon has failed to do that.

Amazon may prove us wrong but we can’t see consumers outside of its own customer base buying this device in droves.