Amazon to Re-Enter Smartphone Business With New ‘Ice’ Line-up, Starting With India


Amazon ICE Smartphones

Seattle-based technology giant, Amazon, launched its first smartphone ‘Amazon Fire’ back in 2014, but the phone was not received well by the customers even though it was one of the first 3D phones in the market. The phone was also extremely expensive for the features and specifications it offered.

To turn around its fortunes in the smartphone market, Amazon is looking to introduce a new series of products, codenamed ‘Ice, starting with India. NDTV reports that the company is ready to take another shot at smartphones, as revealed by two unnamed sources.

The sources have also pointed out that this new series will be launched first in emerging markets like India and China. These mid-to-low range smartphones are expected to run on Android Nougat 7.1 instead of Amazon’s own Fire OS.

Expected specifications of the Ice phones –

  • 5.2-inch to 5.5-inch full HD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM and 16-32GB internal storage
  • 13MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera, with minimal features
  • Android Nougat 7.1.1 with built-in Google Assistant

The smartphone will be priced at Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 7,000, which brings it in the category of Xiaomi Redmi 4A, priced at Rs. 5,999. It is not confirmed if the company will bring it’s Alexa personal assistant to this smartphone range, but it ideally should keep it by default in the OS.

Amazon has not talked about the launch date of these smartphones, but one of the smartphones might be launched in India by the end of the year. We still have about 7 months to go, which is plenty time for the company to study the markets and design the phone.

Will be phone be able to take on Chinese manufacturers?

Sub Rs. 10k category is dominated by Chinese smartphone manufacturers and not many have dared to enter the market at that level. However, Amazon could turn around its fortunes if it offers its services to customers at free of cost.

With every smartphone, if Amazon offers its Prime services in India, which means unlimited free access to videos on demand, prime delivery and soon-to-be-launched Prime Music. If this gets offered to users at Rs. 6,000, the smartphone could sell extremely well, given the name of Amazon.

One thing the company needs to keep in mind is that a lot of buyers in this range need a good customer support, which can be offered by Amazon’s 24×7 call support it offers to other services.

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