Well Amazon, I think you missed your opportunity to enter the smartphone market.
While the phone itself could be nice, even great, the idea behind it is to sell more stuff through Amazon. Most of the features you touted in your keynote were all about how to sell more stuff through Amazon. The Firefly feature, while cool, is really just a way to make it easier for someone to buy something on Amazon.
All of this is well and good. I get it… you need to make money and these devices are a great way to help you do that. Make it easier to buy things, and people will generally buy more. Remove roadblocks… smart.
What I don’t get is why you didn’t take this opportunity to subsidize part of the price of the phone yourself to help lower the initial buy-in for your customers. $199 WITH a 2yr contract for a 32GB phone is not a great price. It is a better price than your competitors 32GB smartphones, but you can’t even claim compatibility with all the apps in the Google Play Store. So you are offering a somewhat crippled Android phone for the same entry price as your competition. I just don’t see people clambering for this phone. I could be wrong.
Personally, I think a $99 price tag would get people to buy it, even knowing what it is designed for. Keeping the 32GB of storage, you could maybe get away with $149, but I still don’t think it’s compelling enough.
Here’s hoping I’m wrong and you sell millions of them.