The tech world went bananas over Amazons announcement of their all new device, the Amazon Fire. Amazons first smartphone, it has enough features and UI changes to really separate itself from the rest of the Android lineup. Amazon has made a huge push in 2014 to become more than a just an online store. They have now become a full fledged electronic media company, offering their own TV hardware, tablets, streaming services and now smartphones. Why should Samsung (the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world) care about yet another smartphone entering an already crowded field? It’s simple. Amazon is doing what Samsung wants to do, get out of Google’s shadow.
The Amazon Fire is like no other flagship Android smartphone that has ever hit the market. It’s heavenly skinned UI makes the Fire look as if it’s running it’s own operating system. Similar to the Kindle Fire series of tablets, the Amazon Fire will do a great job of “tricking” the average consumer into thinking that what they are using is not an Android device. What’s the difference between Amazon devices and the rest of the Android ecosystem? No Google apps and no Play Store. The Play Store is the largest collection of apps that you can get on an Android powered device. While the openess of Android allows third parties to create their own app stores, the Play Store has been the most successful. The reason for this is that Google makes the Play Store available for any device that wants to use Google’s apps, like YouTube.
Samsung wants to go one step further and ditch Android altogether in favor of Tizen. This would allow Samsung to directly control the software that their devices would run. It would also allow them to rake in more money from app purchases since they currently don’t see a dime from the Play Store. Samsung will be keeping a close eye on Amazon to see what succeeds and what doesn’t. Should the Amazon Fire flop, it will give Samsung a reason to pause and see what they could do differently to gain success.
Of course there is another line of devices that don’t have access to Google apps, and that’s Windows Phone. The number one reason I hear people complain about Windows Phones is their lack of Google services. Windows Phones still sit in single digits as far as marketshare is concerned, and it would be wise of both Samsung and Amazon to see what they could do in order not to join them. If Amazons latest venture becomes a success, watch for Samsungs Tizen line to follow right behind.