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June 5, 2014

Amazon’s 3D phone ‘stands a chance’ if bundled the right way

Amazon's strong ecosystem could be a winner for its smartphone debut.

By Ben Sullivan

Amazon is planning to unveil a new mobile device on June 18, according to a video posted on its Youtube channel.

The device goes unnamed, but widely rumoured speculations hint at a mobile device with 3D and holographic display.

It has been reported that the phone can create 3D images without the need for 3D glasses, as it can track the user’s eyes and project a stereo image accordingly.

The product would be Amazon’s first step into the smartphone market, after rolling out a successful tablet line over recent years.

Roberta Cozza, an analyst with research firm Gartner, told CBR: "I think the form would be like [Amazon’s] tablet line was – the device will be like a vending machine for everything else Amazon offers, where its revenue stream is.

"In today’s market, we are seeing that the players that are winning are the ones with very strong ecosystems, beyond just traditional handset manufacturers which actually are struggling more. We’ve also seen, in the UK for example, Tesco as another ecosystem owner with a strong user base also that’s also going to announce a phone.

"I think it is an expected step. Amazon already disrupted the tablet market with the lower price on the Fire line, it will depend on what it will bundle with it."

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No pricing details were released about the device. Amazon has a history of competitive pricing, but a 3D-enabled device may push the price up which could betray some of Amazon’s existing user base.

But by offering a free mobile service, like it did to its Kindle owners, or by subsidising the devices with advertising, Amazon could still keep the phone viably priced.

It could also subsidise the phone itself and re-sell mobile service at low prices, or perhaps link some of the phone’s features to an Amazon Prime subscription.

Cozza said: "[Amazon] will go with some incentives, because the main target for this is obviously its existing user base. The device stands a chance if it is bundled the right way with services."

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