Amazon's 3D smartphone launches today - here's what we know so far

The smartphone market is incredibly competitive - Jeff Bezos and his team will need to offer something startling to stand out

Amazon is expected to launch it’s first-ever smartphone at an event in Seattle on 18 June (starting at 6.30pm UK time) but just what can we expect from the online retailer’s attempt to take on Apple and Google?

In terms of technical specs the phone is likely to be placed in the upper-middle slice of devices with reports suggesting a 4.7-inch, 720p screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 2GB of RAM.

However, Amazon is also going to be unveiling unknown ‘3D’ capabilities, with some leaks suggesting that Amazon will use four cameras built into the front of the phone to track users’ head movements movements, while others say that built-in sensors will let people navigate the phone by tilting it from side to side.

A teaser video for the device apparently confirms this, with suspiciously delighted customers bobbing their heads about at the unseen gadget. This sort of user interface could help overcome the difficulties of navigating our increasingly large phones with a single hand – but if it’s anything less than 100 per cent intuitive it’s likely to bomb.

The other main point of interest is likely to be the phone’s price. Unlike Apple, Amazon typically sells its hardware for little or no profit, instead making money from the digital media that owners purchase through its connected stores.

It’s previously lowered costs through integrating ads into the Kindle Fire’s lock screen and a report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that an exclusive deal with AT&T is also in the offing.

However, the proliferation of cheap and capable smartphones (there’s the Moto E, Lumia 630 and carrier-specific devices like the EE Kestrel and Vodafone Smart 4 in the UK) means that a low price is no longer the stand-out selling point it once was.

So what else is there there? It’s more than possible that Amazon could bundle a whole range of premium services with the device. Amazon’s subscription service, Amazon Prime, now offers free one day shipping, e-book downloads, video on demand and music streaming all in a single package.

Amazon's Fire HDX tablets include free 24/7 video support with Amazon agents - an unexpected service that proves what the company thinks matters.

If Amazon could add some sort of subsidized data package to this (perhaps through the tie-up with AT&T) then it could sell users constant access to all the entertainment they want for a single monthly fee. No fussing around with subscriptions, and all with Amazon's much loved customer service underpinning the user experience.

As it’s unlikely that the company will be able to make a dent in emerging markets (a recent report from Upstream said that only 56 per cent of consumers in these regions recognised the retailer compared to 87 per cent for Google and 85 per cent for Apple) it seems that this could be a good strategy for Amazon, targeting ‘premium’ consumers as aggressively as possible.

This may sound a dangerously unprofitable approach for Amazon, but with the company’s invitation to the 18 June launch including a note from Bezos saying “I think you’ll agree that the world is a better place when things are a little bit different”, it’s entirely possible that the retailing giant is poised to shake things up. We'll find out later today when the launch begins 18:30pm UK time.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Graduate BI Consultant (Business Intelligence) - London

    £24000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate BI Consultant (B...

    Service Delivery Manager (Product Manager, Test and Deployment)

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager (Product Ma...

    Technical Product Marketing Specialist - London - £70,000

    £50000 - £70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Cloud Product and Solutions Marketin...

    Trainee Helpdesk Analyst / 1st Line Application Support Analyst

    £18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam