Since last fall, the rumors surrounding Amazon’s first smartphone have largely concentrated on details about the handset’s hardware: stuff like that elaborate array of cameras to support in-air gesture control. But a little bit further back, in the waning days of summer 2013, the Amazon phone story was all about how it might be sold, with rumors about exclusive deals for Amazon Prime users, maybe even making the phone available for free. Well, Amazon denied that “free” business, but could Prime still factor in somehow? That’s back on our mind today, with a new rumor that something called Prime Data will be a big part of how the smartphone is promoted.
But what is Prime Data? Well, that’s a good question, and not one with a very clear answer. While sources have been adamant that Prime Data is a part of the smartphone’s launch plans, the specifics are a little murky. One interpretation suggests that users of the service would get free access to the sort of digital content normally available to Prime subscribers, like Amazon’s streaming video library.
There’s also the chance that Prime Data might be intimately tied to AT&T, which could get an exclusive on the phone. While the carrier does have that Sponsored Data program to let companies (like Amazon) subsidize the cost for users of accessing their services, there are doubts that this is what Amazon might be doing. But even if it’s not using AT&T Sponsored Data proper, Prime Data still might offer users some kind of savings, either by giving them an ongoing discount on data service, or bundling-in a certain amount of free access with the phone’s purchase.
As you can see, there’s a lot we don’t know. But whereas that 3D gesture stuff, and even these new reports of tilt control made the phone sound a little gimmicky, something like Prime Data – at least, depending on what it actually means – might have the potential to make a real impact on buying decisions. We just have to learn a little more about it first before we can really say to what extent.