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.

Sport
Super BowlAfter Katy Perry madness it's back to The Independent's live coverage of Super Bowl 49!
News
See what Twitter had to say about the first half of the Super Bowl
News
people
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Web Design Apprentice

    £6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Application Developer

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: .Net / SQL Developer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer - PC/Mac

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...

    Day In a Page

    The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

    The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

    They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
    A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

    Dropout generation failed by colleges

    £800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
    Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
    Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

    Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

    Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
    Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

    Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch