News Column

Amazon unveils Fire Phone

June 18, 2014

Chicago Tribune

June 18--More than seven years after Apple introduced the iPhone, Amazon unveiled the Fire Phone, its first foray into the smartphone market Wednesday at an event in Seattle hosted by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Bezos pulled the phone out his pocket before a crowd of 300 gathered near Seattle. It has 4.7-inch HD display, a quad-core 2.2GHz processor and 2GB RAM.

It also has a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with f/2.0 lens.

The Fire Phone also featuers a rubberized frame, Gorilla Glass on both sides, CNC aluminum buttons. polished button chamfers.

"This phone is gorgeous. We put a huge amount of effort into the industrial design," Bezos told the crowd, according to a live report by Engadget.

The online retailer was officially coy about identifying its new product. It announced the 12:30 p.m. CST event through a tweet along with a YouTube video teaser that shows users reacting to something being held at lap level, but doesn't show what's in their hands.

The company is jumping into a crowded and hyper-competitive arena dominated by deep-pocketed rivals such as Samsung Electronics and Apple, as well as lower-cost rivals from Asia, even as sales growth slows in some markets that are saturated.

By introducing a handset, Amazon could more directly push access to its online store, or digital content like music, movies and games, to consumers. A smartphone also adds to the growing lineup of tablet, e-reader and other hardware that can help Amazon circumvent Apple, Google and Samsung, which serve as digital gatekeepers by controlling how applications and media reach customers on mobile gadgets.


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Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)

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