Is Amazon Prime The Fire Phone’s Biggest Selling Point?By: Chris Crum - July 18, 2014
A month ago, Amazon unveiled its Fire phone, an incredibly advanced smartphone apparently aimed at getting more people buying items from their mobile devices than ever before. For than that, however, it’s a way for Amazon to suck more users into its ecosystem, including its popular Amazon Prime service.
Do you plan on getting a Fire phone? Do you expect the device to become popular? Share your thoughts in the comments.
This week, Amazon released its first commercial for the device, and it isn’t any of the device’s fancy features being played up. It’s Amazon Prime – a service that has been around for about nine years. Take a look.
“Prime” is mentioned three times in the thirty-second spot. The whole premise of it is that the kids are watching stuff with Amazon Prime. There were no mentions of “Dynamic Perspective” or “Firefly,” which are two of the most talked-about features of the device, and the things the company really played up at the launch event.
Even the video title is “Introducing Amazon Fire Phone — Includes One Year of Prime”. The description on YouTube says:
Now airing the new Amazon Fire phone TV commercial. For a limited time, every Fire phone includes a full year of Prime benefits (a $99 value), including Prime Instant Video (over 40,000 movies and TV episodes), Free Two-Day Shipping, and over one million songs and more. If you already have Prime, we’ll extend your membership for a full year. Fire phone also comes with the innovative Firefly technology, so you can recognize more than 100 million movies, songs, products, books and more.
Again, this is the first ad Amazon has put out for the device. For a lot of people, who don’t keep up with tech news (and perhaps some who were on vacation when Amazon unveiled the phone), this is going to be their first look at the Fire phone, which makes it all the more interesting that Amazon chose this route.
It’s not really a surprise that Amazon would play up Amazon Prime in the spot, but it’s interesting that this is pretty much the only selling point they’re bothering to show consumers. It’s pretty smart. A year of free Prime is an attractive offer, because not only do you get access to that streaming video content, you get free two-day shipping on items, and access to over a million songs with Prime Music and half a million free ebooks.
It’s a limited offer, so they definitely want to push it right away.
More importantly for Amazon, the offer is bound to get people hooked on all of that, and by way of the phone’s other features and operating system, it gets people hooked into the Amazon ecosystem, which while built using Android, is separate from Google’s and Apple’s. Prime is a competitive advantage, even when it comes to hardware.
Amazon is finding more and more ways to scoop up users, and even just launched a Netflix-like offering for eBooks in Kindle Unlimited.
The Fire phone will become available next Friday through AT&T. Another ad is expected to drop before that. It will be interesting to see if Amazon plays up other features in that one, or will just stick with focusing on dangling Prime in front of consumers.
It’s unclear how long Amazon will continue to offer a free year of Amazon Prime with the device. It probably depends on how well the promotion does from the onset.
As Amazon explained at the launch, “Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system to respond to the way you hold, view, and move Fire, enabling experiences not possible on other smartphones. Firefly quickly recognizes things in the real world—web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, movies, music, and millions of products, and lets you take action in seconds—all with the simple press of the Firefly button.”
Yep, the phone has a button that lets you point the device at products, and bring up pages to buy them. Businesses are about to have a whole new showrooming element to deal with.
Do you expect the Fire Phone to be an ecommerce game-changer? Will Amazon’s offer of a free year of Prime entice people to buy it? Tell us what you think.