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Amazon to launch new device on June 18th

Amazon has released a teasing video promoting an 18 June product launch without saying what it will unveil – but industry experts are confident the retailer has developed its own '3D' smartphone to rival Apple and Samsung.

The video shows users (or possibly actors) trying out a device – but crops out the thing itself. "It moved with me!" exclaims one beaming punter, while another is impressed by how "intuitive" whatever he is using is.

View the video here:

But, if the predictions are right, why would a one-time bookseller be manufacturing mobile phones? And can Amazon really stand a chance against the big boys?

What is Amazon launching?
According to Gizmodo, among others, Amazon has developed a smartphone which uses cameras and sensors to monitor the position of a user's head and eyes to provide a '3D' effect. In other respects, the phone seems to be pretty normal – Bloomberg expects it to run Android, while Gizmodo says it will have a "standard" Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM and a 4.7inch, 720p display.

In what way is the phone '3D'?
Nobody is certain, but Time predicts that by tracking its own orientation and its user's head position, the phone will "let users tilt certain icons and menu items within reach". If the phone can tell what angle a user's head is at, it may help make the most of a small screen by letting them 'peek' towards options they want.

Since when has Amazon made hardware?
Since 2007, when it released its first Kindle e-reader, Amazon has developed Kindle Fire tablets and Fire TV, a $99 TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies, which has not yet been released outside the US. Its emphasis has previously been on producing a basic, good-value product.

Is it easy to sell a new smartphone?
The market is incredibly competitive. According to Bloomberg, it grew 21 per cent last year to $338.3bn. It is dominated by just two firms: in the first quarter of this year, Samsung had a 31 per cent market share, by shipments, with Apple taking another 15 per cent.

So does Amazon stand a chance against Apple and Samsung?
Despite their stranglehold on the market, yes it does. Amazon's remarkable advantage is that it doesn't need to make a profit on the devices. For Bloomberg, Adam Satriano says: "Getting into [smartphones] is just a new way for Amazon to sell all the other sorts of content...

"They're not like Apple where they're looking to get 30 or 40 per cent margins on the sale of the devices. Jeff Bezos has shown that he'll sell these at, essentially, cost – and then look to make money on the sale of music and movies."

Source :

06 June 2014
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