Amazon announced last week that it will be releasing its first smartphone into the market, the Fire Phone. Tech junkies the world over (ourselves included) were eager to see what the online retail giant would bring to the smartphone table. As sleek as the Fire Phone looks, we wonder if their accompanying newest technology, Firefly, will impress consumers enough to consider buying the device once it becomes available for purchase in July of this year.
Firefly allows Fire Phone users to point the device’s camera at almost any item in front of them, and then see if it’s available for purchase on Amazon. There are concerns from some that this technology would increase “showrooming” among consumers, where people go to look at items in-store (often using their phones to compare reviews and price points) and then decide to purchase online instead of at the brick-and-mortar location.
So how willing are people to switch to a phone with brand new technology? As Damon Darlin notes in his New York Times article, consumers often switch to new phones when new technology makes their old devices obsolete:
“Why would you switch? When the existing technology you have falls behind. It happened to users of Palm phones, once as innovative as Apple or Amazon are. Millions of people have left their BlackBerrys behind, even though they loved the keyboard and messaging abilities, because it lacked so much else.”
The question then begs: Can the Fire Phone and Firefly trump other smartphones and their capabilities? We hesitate to say that Firefly technology will be a silver bullet for Amazon. As hard as it is to break into the smartphone market to begin with, many consumers admit to already using their current smartphones when they go shopping in stores. It would seem Firefly isn’t all that revolutionary.
And with the implementation of beacon technology more consumers may be making their way into brick-and-mortar locations in the future. We already know that mobile is here to stay, but here at Where2GetIt we don’t see the end of brick-and-mortar locations anytime soon. Mobile is an ever-changing, evolving environment and we’re here to ride the wave.
What do you think of the Amazon Fire Phone? Will you be buying it when it comes out? Let us know in the comments below.