What better way to permanently extinguish the embarrassment of that gimmicky, overpriced, clunky Fire Phone fiasco than putting some long overdue ice on Amazon’s still unhealed mobile device wound?
The e-commerce giant was quick to throw cold water on its monumentally failed first in-house smartphone back in 2015, leaving it without a sequel as options were considered, losses cut and strategies overhauled, but various insiders did “warn” us a market resurgence remained on the table.
Out of nowhere, a flurry of intel on the aptly codenamed Ice “lineup” has now surfaced, although there’s absolutely no way to verify the authenticity of these odd but interesting-sounding alleged plans.
Believe it or not, Amazon could be thinking about releasing “at least one smartphone” in India and possibly other emerging yrkets “within this year” sans Alexa support. That makes zero sense, but NDTV’s “sources familiar with the matter” do admit they’ve “seen and used” an early prototype with unfinished software, meaning plenty of changes and add-ons may still take place before the thing reaches store shelves.
It’s still surprising to hear Amazon is allegedly testing a product running a standard version of Android for once, Google services and full Play Store access included. Lessons may have been learnt, and the low-cost magic of the Fire tablet family could be replicated with a price point of Rs 6,000 ($93), and middling specs, like a 5.2 or 5.5-inch display, 13MP rear camera, Snapdragon 435 SoC, fingerprint scanner, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and 7.1.1 Nougat software.
Mind you, that’s just one of several “Ice” phones reportedly in the pipeline, and its official name or exact launch date are still up in the air.