Amazon is developing a new Android driven smartphone that is targeting India and emerging markets. It will have Google Play and the Google Play Framework, so users will not be getting their content directly from Amazon, nor will it be running FireOS.
The report from Gadget 360 notes that the new Ice phone will not target the US market, like the original Fire Phone did. As such, the rumored specs for one of the Ice phones fall in line with that goal: a screen between 5.2 and 5.5 inches, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a Snapdragon 435 processor. It will retail for around $93 at launch, although that price could change as the hardware becomes finalized.
Forbes states that “Amazon’s understanding of its customers is getting better all the time. Take a look at tablets for confirmation of this, where the firm used to make premium tablets it’s now gone exclusively for the budget end of the market. Why? Because Amazon’s customers put value-for-money above all else.”
I think the Ice Phone might be successful in emerging markets that are targeting the next billion users who do not have a smartphone. It will be sensibly-priced, have access to Android and be available with access to the best of Amazon and the best of Android. For those handsets at the low-end of the market, this is going to be troubling.