Friday, 3 October 2014

Only £33? I pay you?

Phonetastic, pop pickers!
The other day I was walking past a bus stop and paused to admire an advert for the new Amazon smartphone. I was told that I could get it for only £33 pounds a month on O2. (Actually, as was the case initially with the iPhone, you can only get it on O2.)

Whoa, I thought. That's more than I pay for a real smartphone. Now I now that's a bit unfair as this is a fully featured Android phone, and I don't want to start the old iPhone/Android rivalry (though, of course, iPhones are better), but my point was this. Yes, the Amazon Fire phone is a nice smartphone with a couple of unique but hardly showstopping features. Set against which it has some limitations that make it anything but one of the best Android options. But the point is that this is a phone that, like it or not, has very strong ties to one retailer (a retailer that wants to rule the world). Which gives said retailer huge benefits by having a direct link to my pocket and activities. So, really, should I have to pay as much or more than I do for an ordinary smartphone?

Usually if you get something tied to a particular brand you expect it to be cheap - or even for them to pay you to use it. Surely Amazon has got this back to front. If Amazon paid me to use their phone, I could understand it. But as they expect me to pay a premium, I'm afraid I'll be staying well away. (And did I mention, it's not an iPhone?)

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