All in on Amazon?
Everyone seemed to be expecting, up until today, that the Fire Phone was going to be standard Amazon fare, a great bang for your buck device that pretty much undercuts most everything while still having qualities that can potentially put it up there with flagship devices (ex. Kindle Fire HDX). The Fire Phone is decidedly mid-high end and competes directly with competitors that have had that market almost completely locked down for a good long while now, the iPhone and Galaxy S/ Note line. It also competes with a myriad of other (if the reaction comments are anything to go by) much better high end phones like the Xperia 2, HTC One (M8), Lumia 930/ Icon and even the Nexus 5 and Moto X which undercuts the Fire Phone by a good amount while still having what most would consider a better offering, with or without the price.
So who is buying this phone? Well first we have to keep something in mind, we aren't the average consumer, maybe some of us are in use case, but as far as what most of us look for in a phone and how knowledgeable we are about tech at large, we are not the average consumer. Most people won't look at this phone and say "lol look at those specs and that bezel" or say "no way I'm getting an android forked phone without my google apps, I NEED google docs on my phone" (if they even know that it is forked in the first place). No, what they'll probably say is "Nice, look at this cool feature with the four cameras" or maybe "wow a phone like my Kindle". Now I don't really think gimmicks like the awkward head tilt are going to be enough to make this phone stand out enough for it to be able to compete with the likes of your average flagship, let alone with the likes of such widely adored phones like the 5s and S5; what will sell this phone is the latter bit, it's "just like my Kindle", however whether or not that is even enough depends on how many people are really willing to go all in with Amazon's growing ecosystem of services and devices.
Phones are a lot more important to most of us than any other device, even if you need your laptop or tablet to get work done, its our phone that we're always with, our phone that we spend the most time on, and our phone we feel most attached to (just look at the reactions to the This is my Next Smartphone piece from The Verge). Phones have become status symbols, they can make you feel like you fit in or stand out. the Galaxy S5 (or the Android phone as some of my friends like to call it) is the anti "iSheep" phone, and they feel validation for "thinking different", of course the iPhone is still the go to cool phone to have as well. The Fire Phone has an advantage here, sort of; the Fire Phone, unlike many other flagships, has a rather strong image being connected to the Kindle line and as such it will get notice regardless, much more than the latest Sony and HTC devices, however still not as much as that of the iDevices or Galaxy S line. However notice and association might not be enough to sell this phone, for what does it matter if it is connected to the Kindle Fire if you DON'T have a Kindle Fire?
This brings us to our audience, the crowd that DOES own Kindles, that DOES use Amazon Prime, that DOES use Amazon Music, but how big is this crowd? Out of the three people I know who own Kindle Fires, only one uses Amazon's full ecosystem of services, one third isn't bad, but this is completely anecdotal. The actual percentage of Kindle owners who are that invested might be much lower, or maybe much higher, but whatever that percent is (and I'm betting on it being rather low), that is probably the number that will determine this first generation's sales.
On a concluding note, is anyone here all in on Amazon? Does anyone here use Amazon Prime and Music? If so, how is the experience? How does it compare? Is it worth the investment, and will you continue to invest in it? I'd love to hear more from actual users in the comments.