The Amazon Fire Phone will be released in the UK on September 30th 2014 via O2. New and existing customers for O2 can get the Fire Phone for free if they take out the £33 a month Refresh contract. For those who sign up to the Fire Phone contract before 31st December, Amazon will be giving away one year of Prime.
The Seattle based e-commerce giant hopes that its Fire Phone can challenge Apple, Samsung, Sony and HTC in the smartphone market, but its US launch has been underwhelming with only 35,000 phones sold.
“We think the Fire Phone will be a great phone for Amazon customers, amazing for Prime customers, but it’s a very competitive phone and good for people who want a new phone in general,” Cameron Janes, Amazon’s director of the Fire phone. “It’s amazing value with a bundled year of Amazon Prime giving access to 15,000 videos and 500,000 books, plus free unlimited photo cloud storage and customer support from the built-in MayDay feature.”
The Fire Phone trumpets Firefly as the main selling point, which allows people to scan barcodes & QR codes and automatically pull the product listing up on Amazon. “Firefly identifies printed text on signs, posters, magazines and business cards,” the company said, which it does through combining “Amazon’s deep catalog of physical and digital content with multiple image, text and audio recognition technologies to quickly identify a variety of items from the world around you.”
Amazon’s biggest difference from the Samsung Galaxy S5, the upcoming Apple iPhone 6, or Sony Xperia Z3 is its “dynamic perspective”, which uses four front-facing cameras to track the position of the user’s head to create a simulated 3D experience that moves as the user moves their head.
The United Kingdom is reaching a point of mobile phone saturation, with an estimated 70% of the population owning one. Can Amazon defy the odds and sell enough units to make entry into the UK viable?
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.