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September 30, 2015

My Amazon Fire - The Boat Anchor That Keeps Swimming

I really don’t enjoy bleeding on the edge. I have been burned with expensive items so many times and I am not a review writer, so no one ever thinks to send me anything for free. So when I took a chance on the Amazon Fire phone, it was with the full awareness that I was probably going to be in the regret mode long before the contract completed.

Recent layoffs at Amazon have pointed to the engineering team of the Amazon Fire as the reason for the groups that were removed. I think this is misplaced blame. Much of the problem was that Amazon hit a price point that was based on protecting tablets and specific to the U.S., as opposed to having a world market view.

While I am never an Apple fanatic, they refused to go to LTE or CDMA, and stayed GSM to reach the worldwide market. Another aspect of Apple’s success is that it has played the ‘status marketing’ strategy amazingly well. Case in point: The new ‘S series’ are so minor a release, and yet the demand is there to have the latest and greatest.

In contrast, Amazon’s emphasis is on Amazon Prime. Amazon’s phone, tablet or TV appliances are secondary to the service, which is available in other ways.

Now here is the funny anecdote that makes my columns such a riot to read.

I am currently at Canada’s Lake Louise and tomorrow I will be in Banff. Majestically the scenery is not spoiled by a lot of towers, and the little LTE logo is nowhere to be found on my display. So while I paid for the privilege of Internet Roaming from my U.S.-based companies, they either do not have access to services I need, or more likely their roaming partners have not deployed it.

So I am using my Amazon Fire on the Wi-Fi networks to get Internet access and all the infotainment I need for this vacation. I also have access to Amazon’s ‘Mayday’ feature.

I watch with amusement while Cablevision offers me a Wi-Fi only phone, but if Amazon were to do it, I might be willing to bleed on the edge again. 

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