Amazon Fire smartphone: Will hardware, service plan pricing keep customers away?

With a focus on Amazon Prime customers and store purchases you would think there would be some device and plan pricing consideration for the Fire, but you would be wrong.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Amazon Fire smartphone: Will hardware and service plan pricing keep away the customers?
Image: AT&T

SEATTLE — Amazon announced the Fire smartphone on Wednesday, but there are a couple of things that have me questioning its value to the customer.

With the focus on Amazon Prime, I expected some special consideration in regards to pricing from Amazon and AT&T and we see neither offering anything substantial compared to other smartphones available today.

The specifications are typical of current smartphones with the display having the same size and resolution as last year's Moto X. Motorola has many special features that still make the Moto X a worthy smartphone today.

The Amazon Fire smartphone has some very cool technology. Although I look forward to trying it out, the full price is $650 for the 32GB model and $750 for the 64GB model with no microSD expansion card slot. You do get one year of Amazon Prime included, $99 value, so there is a bit of cost savings there.

However, given that the Fire with Firefly is designed to have customers buying more I was hoping to see Amazon blow me away with a phone priced similar to the Moto X or Nexus 5.

Unfortunately, the Amazon Fire smartphone is also an AT&T exclusive and the only wildly successful phone we have seen with an exclusive was the very first Apple iPhone.

Times have changed in seven years though and in order to have a successful exclusive I think you have to have groundbreaking innovation. There are some amazing smartphones running iOS, Android, and Windows Phone on all carriers so I doubt anyone will change carriers to get a Fire smartphone.

AT&T is not offering any special deal on service with the Fire smartphone. I was hoping to see something like we see on the Kindle 3G models with free or very low cost data on the device. The Fire is the same as every other smartphone on AT&T.

The lack of consideration in data and service pricing is one thing that killed the Microsoft Kin.

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