Amazon already failed miserably at the smartphone game, but it’s possible the company might not be ready to throw in the towel just yet.
If a report from The Information (subscription only) is true, Amazon has a completely different plan to corner the market. Instead of developing hardware, it might go the software route and offer it to other manufacturers.
According to people familiar with the matter, Amazon is mulling over the idea of working with other manufacturers at a “factory level” to integrate its services. We’re not talking about pre-loading apps because Amazon is already doing that through various deals with carriers and manufacturers.
This effort would entail the complete software experience. In other words, the manufacturer(s) would install a completely forked version of Android similar to what’s now available on Fire tablets. Of course, Amazon apps and services would be included as well.
The kicker to this would be that Google services probably wouldn’t be allowed on these devices. Although Google opens the Android software to anyone who wants to use it for free, the company has rules in place if the manufacturer wants to include Google services. For example, if a manufacturer uses another app store such as the Amazon App Store, Google services cannot be included on the device. These apps include Gmail, Maps, Docs, YouTube, Google Play, and more. None of these apps are available on Fire tablets.
While Amazon has enjoyed success with its tablet business, it completely flopped with the Fire Phone. The device was overpriced and consumers were already happy with phones from Apple, Samsung, LG, etc.
However, it’s not the hardware where Amazon will make money — it’s services. The company does offer most of it’s services through apps for both Android and iOS, but Amazon could be looking for a much bigger presence.
The report does not disclose how far Amazon might be in this alleged plan or which manufacturers it could be talking to.
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