The Amazon 3D smartphone announcement is set for tomorrow, Wednesday, June 18th at 1:30PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), and with the date on the horizon, a number of readers wanna known what to expect from the event. Is Amazon really prepping a 3D smartphone announcement? And, how will the company accomplish this 3D motion? What’s with the mysterious Amazon commercial? No matter the rumor or how crazy it may be, we’re here to give you a look at all the rumors that’ve surfaced so far about Amazon’s latest project. Any of these (or all of them, for that matter) are fair game for tomorrow’s big announcement – so we’ll leave it to you to sort through them and choose those you think are most reasonable.
Rumor #1: Amazon’s releasing a 3D smartphone
This may seem obvious to some (and not so obvious to others), but it’s likely that Amazon’s releasing a 3D smartphone. The company could release a 3D tablet in the future as a competition to Google’s new Project Tango tablet, but we don’t see that as the main pull with the announcement. Instead, our research has shown that reputable sources believe the smartphone will take center stage in Jeff Bezos’s announcement tomorrow. Rumors’ve persisted in this direction for some months, if not a year or so, and Amazon’s had ample time to prepare its smartphone for prime time. We don’t know at this point what Amazon’s calling the new 3D smartphone, but we do think that the name “3D Amazon” or “Amazon 3D” has a sufficient ring to it.
Rumor #2: Amazon 3D smartphone will feature 6 cameras
Whenever a 3D smartphone is rumored to be in the works, the question always arrives: “how will the manufacturer pull this off?” For Amazon, the answer is found in the four front cameras and two back cameras. In the Amazon 3D commercial, one female user said, “It moved with me!,” while the others would move their heads in circular motion and talk about how impressive the new gadget is. If the rumors are true, there will be four front cameras and a dual-camera setup on the back of the Amazon 3D smartphone.
Rumor #3: Amazon 3D smartphone specs look rather underwhelming
Okay, so not everything about this phone makes it a top contender. The largest selling point of the Amazon 3D smartphone, from what we know, is that it looks to have 3D tech as its selling point; if you’re looking for a 2.3Ghz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801/805, 3GB RAM, a 16MP or 20MP camera with optical image stabilization, 2K display and 4K video recording, and so on, you’re likely to be more disappointed than excited with the Amazon 3D offering. Sources say that the company could give the Amazon 3D smartphone a 13MP camera, but it will likely feature a 4.7-inch screen with a 720p viewing experience (1280 x 720p screen resolution) that provides 2GB RAM, likely 32GB of memory storage, and an average design. This isn’t to say that these specs are bad, but it’s a sign that the Amazon 3D smartphone is meant to appeal to a different crowd.
Don’t be fooled, however: there are some tech features in the Amazon 3D smartphone experience that may have their appeal for some tech enthusiasts and average consumers that want more functionality and less of an emphasis on how bright your display/screen resolution is, build quality, and so on. For example, one rumor points to a head tilt-to-click function that will allow you to tilt your head and make selections on-screen – without ever touching the screen. You could use this tilt-to-click feature for messaging apps as well as photos.
Another cool feature would involve gesture controls that would allow you to do the same but could be used for other features of the smartphone experience. Perhaps you could move your hand to scroll the page, for example – without having to touch an arrow. Finally, there could be an “optical character recognition” feature that allows you to take pictures of business cards and other documents and convert the same words from the document to text on your smartphone. These are the kinds of features we’ve seen in laptops but few smartphones, and Amazon could look to go in this area where few high-end smartphones have gone before.
Amazon wants everyone’s approval, no matter who they are, but devices that produce specs of this kind aren’t meant to catch the eye of the high-end smartphone customer who wants to pull out $800 over a two-year contract (or off-contract) for his or her smartphone. Motorola’s new rumored Moto X+1 is shaping up to be a better phone spec-wise, and Amazon may decide to move in this direction. At this point, to get its Amazon 3D smartphone on the market will give the Bezos-led company a reason to celebrate.
Rumor #4: Amazon 3D smartphone is an AT&T exclusive in the US
If you’re with Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile and had your eye on the Amazon 3D smartphone, we’ve got a bit of a bummer announcement: AT&T will be the only one to sell the Amazon 3D smartphone in the United States. Amazon is taking this approach likely because it hopes to start small with the largest fan base it can find. In the US, AT&T is the nation’s largest carrier with the most customers. It’s likely that Amazon’s put so much money into the 3D smartphone that it doesn’t want to lose more money with advertising. Nokia did the same thing with its Lumia 1020, in hopes of appealing to a larger crowd than spending so much money with little ROI.
Sony has made the same move for years, with US carrier T-Mobile getting the Xperia Z line for the last two years. Verizon, or any other carrier for that matter, has gotten to sell the Xperia Z line in its retail stores. Sony seems to be on the move to change that, with rumors over the last several weeks of a Verizon Xperia Z2 and a Verizon Xperia Z tablet coming to one of the US’s largest carriers with the most reliable 4G LTE network. And, according to a Verizon representative who chose to remain anonymous, Microsoft’s acquisition of Finnish phone manufacturer Nokia may lead to the Lumia series abandoning its “here-and-there exclusivity.” Verizon got its exclusive Nokia Lumia Icon this year, and AT&T got the Lumia 1020 last year, but Microsoft looks to bring Nokia’s luxury Lumia line to every major carrier (and even many regional carriers) in years to come.
With this in mind, then, it seems as though Amazon’s AT&T exclusivity isn’t a terrible decision in and of itself, but a carefully thought-out decision in terms of dollars and cents. I imagine that, should the Amazon 3D smartphone have greater success than the company planned, Bezos and his team will kick things up a notch in 2015. Carrier exclusives may work for companies initially, but they do stifle profit in the long run. And yet, Amazon and Jeff Bezos may know more than we do: how many people from other carriers would be interested in the Amazon 3D smartphone? We don’t know the answer to that, but Amazon’s due to find out once the phone arrives at AT&T later this summer.
Rumor #5: Amazon 3D smartphone may have its own phone plans to tag along
Where there’s a phone, there’s a need for a phone plan. Many individuals will look to buy the Amazon 3D smartphone and use it on the carrier of their choice (the US being the exception). At the same time, however, Amazon’s always been one to offer you services in-house. The company has made a name for itself by offering services. If you don’t believe this, take a look at the company’s MayDay service and the fact that an Amazon representative can answer your call in as little as 10 seconds!
Sources reveal that Amazon could call its plans “Prime Data,” and these plans will likely have tiers for higher-end customers and lower-end customers who want a decent plan but would also like to save money. We don’t know the tiers of Prime Data plans just yet, so you’ll have to tune in to Amazon’s 3D smartphone announcement to find out. Just keep in mind that these plans will likely be as effective as Video on Demand, Amazon’s 3G/4G Kindle data service, and the company’s Kindle Fire HDX tablets.
All in all, Amazon wants to make a statement with the Amazon 3D smartphone. To the company, it’s more about the experience on-screen than the screen itself, more about what you can do with your cameras than how excellent your camera performance is, and so on. If you ask us, smartphone functionality and experience account for a lot more discussion than one’s build quality preference.
Stay tuned to Inferse, as we’ll be back to bring you more news on the Amazon 3D smartphone after tomorrow’s announcement.