So it looks like Amazon is entering the smartphone space as well. This is the obvious next step after the Android-powered Kindle Fire. The one glaring problem would be patents — as in, Amazon likely has little or no mobile patents — but the article suggests that Amazon is already hard at work on resolving that potential roadblock.
My initial thought is that patents are the third glaring problem. Here are the first two:
Mobile phone carriers. These yoyos bear far more of the responsibility for Android’s real fragmentation problem—a plethora of versions in use from 2.2 on, not to mention wildly inconsistent user experience and strangely deliberate efforts to cripple functionality—than Google does, more of the responsibility for WebOS’s death than Palm does, and… well, most of Nokia’s problems are their own fault, but carriers sure didn’t help by only carrying their not-even-Symbian feature phones.
Apple’s “our way or the highway” attitude meant the only carrier willing to deal with them originally was the very desperate Cingular, and even they wouldn’t accept Apple’s demands without getting that multi-year exclusive. I don’t think carriers are going to repeat that “mistake” twice unless it’s for a phone they think can (a) beat the iPhone and (b) let them keep as much control as they have with most of the non-iPhones.
What problem for consumers does an Amazon phone solve? Maybe it solves a problem for Amazon. But when someone asks, “Why should I get a Kindle Phone instead of an iPhone 4S or a Galaxy Nexus,” what’s the answer? “It’s the best way to get the pure Amazon user experience?” We’ve seen the pure Amazon user experience on the Kindle Fire, and I think it’s going to sell a whole lot of Nexus 7s.