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Amazon shopping for Apps

With rumours circling around a possible Amazon smartphone, Jonathan Legrand analyses the possible effects on the industry

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Photo Credit: Showbiz Kids
Photo Credit: Showbiz Kids


Among the many rumours orbiting Amazon's new products, the ones concerning its new smartphone seem the most credible. Apple's usual subcontractors - including Pegatron and Foxconn - have already been contacted about building such a device, and the production of a new smartphone seems to be the most logical and lucrative next step for the internet giant following its successful break into the Android tablet market.

However, it can be seen that the Android smartphone market is even more competitive. At Google's recent I/O conference, it was revealed that 900 million devices use Android as their operating system, with 48 million app downloads on Google Play (the virtual store set as default on all Android devices).

In addition to this, Amazon faces stiff competition in the form of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, which will be available on Google Play for $640 (£421). Moreover, Google has decided to release some of its services - such as Google Hangout, and Sementique Search - to non-Android devices, in an effort to branch out and challenge Apple's FaceTime and Siri services. Moves like this make it ever more difficult for Amazon to persuade potential customers to buy their products over others.

But the news from Google is not all doom and gloom for Amazon; as Google revealed some new software gifts that will soon be available on all Android devices. These include:

> Google Games - a multi-platform interface that will allow multiplayer gamers to switch between computer, Android and/or Apple's iOS devices without interrupting the game play.

> Play Music All Access, a 'radio on demand' store working under paid registrations ranging from $9.99 to $7.99. This allows users to download some songs and listen to them offline, hunting for customers on Spotify's land.

> An ameliorated cloud storage space for high resolution photos - this has an automatic filter that repairs, on its own, all the small exposition, cropping or/and luminosity errors as soon as a user uploads his/her photos.

> Augmented Google Maps (looking more and more like Google Earth). This app gives the possibility to switch to a 3D view and see clouds' movements and traffic information live. The app will also 'learn' about its users over time, resulting in tailored recommendations suited to each individual.

Even with such a solid background and reputation, Amazon could give birth to unsuccessful products. As a result, the company has decided to try and override the Android software by allowing users to use Amazon application, films and games without the use of Google Play. This unique selling point might attract some customers, but more could be required to truly stand out amongst the competition.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon will be presenting two new smartphone models, one of which promises to revolutionize the industry. Specifically, this model will possess a revolutionary interface and an autonomous 3D screen (without the use of special 3D glasses). Furthermore, the device will rely on users' eye movements for internal navigation (similar to recent innovations in Samsung's new smartphone, the Galaxy S4).

If Amazon truly plans on releasing a new 3D smartphone and counts on its user's eyes to control it, this ambition from the creator of the Kindle could consist of too much of a risk.

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