So far, 2016 is stacked with some major news and events going down in the mobile tech world. It seems fitting that Amazon should get in on some of the action. There are rumors surfacing that the company is looking to get back into the smart phone game, but not in the way you may be thinking. Remember the Fire Phone? Though it may not be a significant part of your 2014, it’s certainly a significant part of Amazon’s. It meant MASSIVE losses for them, so seeing a Fire Phone 2 is not too likely. Instead, Amazon may be trying a different method; one inspired by Google.
Instead of delving into the hardware business again, Amazon is looking to established OEM’s to produce phones with Amazon’s software on board. They’re looking to have a deep influence in the software, rather than a few apps loaded on. This idea will be interesting to those who are fans of the Amazon based products.
The ecosystem of Fire OS on a device by, say, Samsung could turn some heads, but this idea has a few obstacles, or rather, one BIG obstacle: Google. Google has a massive hold on OEM’s that use its operating system. Those who want the benefit Android OS have to comply with some major restrictions, and those restrictions pretty much mess up any chance of other companies doing what Amazon is planning on doing.
There are a slew of these restrictions, but the main bummer in this situation is this one: If an OEM uses Google’s Play services on one of its devices, then they have to use it on ALL of their devices. This means that no third party services can be implemented on this OEM’s products, ie, Amazon’s app store. This is debilitating to Amazon’s plan as so many OEM’s use Android and are bound by these rules.
Amazon’s idea is a great one, because its ecosystem had some decent success in the Fire tablets, and the thought of seeing that ecosystem just below a Samsung logo, or just above an LG logo will make anyone’s ears perk up. What makes Google such a king at this particular strategy, however, is the fact that it can’t be easily accessible by other companies, and Google has made it that way.
Google basically made it impossible for other companies to even dream of trying their method, as the market would easily fill up with companies trying to do the same thing, leaving the market saturated with competing operating systems.
But a lot of us are still rooting for Amazon. Maybe they’ll find start up company that has yet to sign its future away to google, or maybe they’ll improve their hardware division and bring the Fire Phone 2 with an all around better experience.
What makes Amazon remarkable is the fact that they came from being an online service to producing hardware, and making a relevant operating system amid the big boys: Android and iOS. Whatever happens, 2016 just might have some big things in store for Amazon.