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AT&T Will Reportedly Be the Exclusive Carrier of Amazon’s New Smartphone

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Amazon is widely expected to unveil a new smartphone tomorrow, potentially equipped with sensors that track your eyes and shift the display’s perspective in three-dimensional ways. That may sound like an out-of-the-box approach to the handset space, but the retail giant is reportedly playing it safe in other ways. According to the Wall Street Journal, the phone’s availability may be initially limited to AT&T when it launches in September.

If Amazon were to agree to carrier exclusivity with anyone, AT&T would make the most sense. The two already have a relationship, with AT&T currently providing connectivity to Amazon’s Kindle devices. Any deal regarding the smartphone would be seen as an extension of the existing agreement.

As always, take the rumor with a grain of salt. It won’t be long before we have official confirmation.

Via: Wall Street Journal
  • Robert Boluyt

    Carrier exclusivity these days almost guarantees a phone will be dead on arrival.

  • MattM1974

    Yep, DOA for sure. It’s a very different landscape from 2007 when Apple did it.

    • michael arazan

      Companies and Executives don’t know how to move forward, they just want to live in the past, for example Donald Trump still thinks it’s 1985

  • MJZ

    I will be extremely disappointed if it’s an ATT exclusive.
    If it’s not available on VZW I can’t even consider it.

  • arthuruscg

    I was hoping Amazon would release the phone on call carriers, including Verizon but only on the 4g bands as an FU to VZ.

  • saimin

    Restricting this phone to AT&T is a big fail unless they can provide some special Amazon Prime rate plan, like less than $30/month for a usable amount of talk and data.

    • sirmeili

      Free for Prime members and I might jump on board :)

  • Gr8Ray

    Because that same strategy worked out so well for the Moto X?

  • King of Nynex

    I can understand Amazon wanting a piece of the smartphone industry, but who exactly is clamoring for an Amazon phone? There’s already a million good choices.

  • Tojen1981

    The only way I see this phone being a big hit would be if Amazon struck some sort of unlimited data deal (sponsored data) with AT&T for its streaming services. Outside of that, it will be another HTC First.

  • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

    Everytime I hear about an AT&T exclusive (whether I want the phone/service or not) I get happy that I left Verizon after they failed to get the Note 1. AT&T gets all the phones and services first good and bad. That’s why I like AT&T.

    • Mike

      Droid Maxx, possibly one of the best phones locked to a carrier right now, but yea, AT&T get’s all the best phones.

      Seriously though, I pick my carrier because of service, I can live with a less than stellar phone (Let’s face it though all major phone releases are released to all carriers now a days) but being without service is a huge game changer, and having 4G pretty much everywhere I go makes up for the fact that I won’t have a chance to get some random phones.

      • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

        I’ve had both services and they’re basically the same. I’ve never had problems with either in Seattle or traveling and I get on a plane atleast 3-4 times a year, not including going to Canada.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          Go hiking or get out of the cities and into a rural or wooded area and you can notice a difference in service between Verizon and AT&T. I’m not saying I like Verizon as they are very overpriced and I hate many of their policies, but you can’t seriously argue that AT&T’s coverage area is “basically the same” as Verizon.

          • Dan DeMarco

            Show us how Verizon is overpriced. Or show us how a side by side comparison in pricing, rather.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Well, Droid-Life has done side by side comparison pricing before, so I’m not going to duplicate that. Considering there are cheaper options available, that would make them overpriced. I could link to different reports that show 1 gig of data costs providers between 2-18 cents depending on their location in the world, but since you have access to Google, you can get those links as easily as I can. So a Verizon Data plan that charges 30-40 for a few gigs of data is very much over priced. I’m not saying that other providers aren’t over priced also. I’m just pointing out I’m not just picking on AT&T here. Each provider has their problems, but his argument that AT&T’s service area is basically the same as Verizon’s just isn’t true. It might be basically the same in the areas he is in, but that isn’t true for their service as a whole.

          • John Kitchen

            It’s all about where you live. Where I live Verizon is LTE everywhere and just lit up a few XLTE sites. AT&T got LTE in some places literally 3 months ago.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I understand that, hence why I’m pointing out that saying Verizon and AT&T’s service are basically the same isn’t true.

          • Dan DeMarco

            Outside of Google searching or side-by-side comparisons that could be easily outdated, I assume you’ve used BOTH providers and know exactly what plans are provided for new and loyal customers? We all know this industry is overpriced and drastic changes are happening, we’ve seen a whole lot of that over the last year so I’m with you on that. Bottom line though, however, when you look into their plans, the two of them are literally like Coke and Pepsi; once one company releases a product or service the other follows right behind them. Cheers

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Again, I wasn’t stating that Verizon is the only over priced one. I even said there were cheaper options. I also never said AT&T and Verizon weren’t pretty much at the same pricing. I’m saying there are other carriers out there who are cheaper so neither of them win on price. Also, pretty much all carriers over charge for data. We all know it. Sadly, that isn’t going to change by much.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    I mostly Believe in anything that Jeff Bezos does. We’ll see how this turns out.

  • Mordecaidrake

    Going with only 1 carrier is a bit of a dumb move if you ask me, they should have gone with all of them. More market share, and considering this phone will most likely be to gimmicky (remember the 3D picture phone from HTC?), it won’t sell too well.

    • Franklin Ramsey

      I’m thinking it could sell fairly well, actually. Think about the Kindle, how Amazon just plasters it on the front page. Everyone going to Amazon will be greeted by the new smart phone. If it comes in at a decent price point, I’d be surprised if it didn’t sell at least as well as the Kindle Fire.

      • Mordecaidrake

        I’m sure it’ll sell but they are really restricting themselves selling it only on AT&T. The Kindle sold because it was a cheap iPad and carried its fame of the Kindle name, IMO.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          And I think this one will sell pretty much for the same reason the Kindle did.

  • http://thatgeekdad.blogspot.com/ Rob Delaney

    DOA. Remember the best phone made in 2012, the HTC One X? Exclusive to AT&T and it barely went any where. Remember the most popular phone of 2012 (and arguably 2013), the Galaxy S3? Yeah that went over like gangbusters. Unless this phone is so ridiculously fantastic and such a game changer to make people leave their current carriers to go to AT&T, it will barely blip on the radar. Amazon would be better off making it GSM unlocked to include a few more carriers. Lets face it, you want your phone to spread among the masses of the average consumer (not the geeks like us), it needs to be on Verizon too.

    • burkett375

      Only thing I can think of is they want to be the next iPhone situation that did really well with a carrier exclusive. Not that this will be like the original iPhone, though

      • turdbogls

        right, there are just WAYY too many other options on other carriers. Unless this phone is truly a game chager (like the OG iPhone was) there is no way its going to sell well.

        • Lucky Armpit

          Was just going to say the same thing. iPhone was a game-changer back in the day. No double about that. Smartphones are dime a dozen nowadays and it really, really, REALLY has to stand out to be a carrier-exclusive and be successful.

      • yodatom10

        but if anyone can market something to success its amazon… but I too don’t hold out high hope

      • Stephen D

        I would also say the OG Droid did well as a carrier exclusive.

        • burkett375

          It did well because it was the “anti-iphone” carrier exclusive. I know that at the time, if Verizon had the iPhone I would have gotten one, and the OG basically saved Android since Verizon didn’t get an iPhone until much much later. But, I agree, carrier exclusivity nowadays does not help. Look at Motomaker…if that had been on all carriers right away, would things have gone better for them?

          • Stephen D

            And the iPhone did well because it was the iPhone. Both the iPhone and Droid were game-changing devices, and as turdbogisn sort of said above, that’s what made them successful carrier-exclusives.

            I remember that I was a young teenager at the time. My Verizon contract was up in November and I had my parents talked into getting me a plan on ATT for an iPhone. Then, the Droid ad campaign started. I was on Youtube one night, and under recommendations was the CNET hands on with the Droid. I watched it, looked it up, and decided I wanted it instead of an iPhone. Black Friday, I woke up and my parents had already gone out shopping. They gave me the Droid as an early Christmas present. Hated the iPhone ever since.

  • B B D

    Best US Carrier. Makes sense.

    • Franklin Ramsey

      I’d like to know how they are the best? They don’t have the coverage Verizon has, Speeds on Verizon and T-Mobile are generally faster in many areas, and they aren’t the cheapest option. I can’t say they win in any category. They are just OK in most categories, but don’t really excel in any, except maybe getting exclusive deals?

      • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

        I’ve had both and there is no difference in AT&T or Verizon service wise. And yes I travel atleast 3-4 times a year so it’s not just in Seattle. And when you talk about options and exclusivity AT&T hands down. I’m glad I dropped Verizon like a bad step child.

        • Curtis

          …red-headed stepchild or a rented mule.

          • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

            Rented Mule. It’s sounds much more cruel.

        • arthuruscg

          You must not travel out into the boonies.

          • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

            Naw I don’t really care for the boonies, couldn’t imagine anyone getting coverage in the middle of nowhere but I have been up in Mount Rainer and the Olympic Mountains and had service.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          Just because you travel 3-4 times a year doesn’t mean there is no difference in service. I drive from Cleveland to Pittsburgh a few times a year. If I stay to the expressways, everything is fine on both carriers. If I take back roads, I still have service on my Phone with Verizon, but my girl friend that has AT&T drops service several times. AT&T has better coverage than Sprint and T-Mobile, but it still isn’t quite as good as Verizon. The only thing AT&T can say they do best is maybe get exclusive phones. I’m sorry, that seems like a joke to me since with the amount of phones out there, you can almost always find a similar device on another carrier.

          • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

            Who wants a similar device? If I want the Note I’m not going to let you sell me a Sony Xperia Z Ultra because it’s similar. I want what I came to get. That’s like me going to the car lot for an Audi and being sold a VW because it’s similar and cheaper. Not happening!

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I said nothing about similar and cheaper, so your argument about wanting an Audi and getting a VW is not the same type of comment I’m making. I’m saying If you want a Note, you can find phones with the same or similar features on another carrier. Who wants a similar device? Apparently a lot of people. If that wasn’t true, regional carriers and pre-paid services wouldn’t be as popular as they are as many of them have fewer choices in device but they are similar to what you can get post paid. Like if you were to go to a car dealer for an Audi and left with a BMW or Acura instead. You can get similar technology, similar features, all in the same price point. If you want a specific phone, more power to you, go with the carrier that has it.

        • Nw_adventure

          I’ve had ATT off and on for 20 years- Had Verizon once and now back to ATT with the wife on Verizon due to her work office being unavailable to other carriers, other than that Verizon just blows in Utah. So many areas without any kind of data signal and at our house right in the city her Moto X has a single bar of service. WTF ? ATT blows them away in the mountain west and is on Par with VZW in the PNW at a much lower cost with better tech+handsets. Just saying

          • Dan DeMarco

            Much lower costs? Shall we compare single line and share plans? Someone’s going to feel stupid here and it won’t be me I can guarantee that.

          • Nw_adventure

            Sure buddy. Single line with same business discount. ATT -$75 per month – VZW $89 Can you hear me now ?

          • Dan DeMarco

            Oh I’m sorry. $60/mo Unlimited Talk & Text 1GB not including a discount. They also offer 2GB for $75/mo. “It’s not complicated”.

          • Nw_adventure

            Sorry holmes- Rocking unlimited data and get comped for the whole amount afterwards from work. Att rules- VZW drools.

          • Dan DeMarco

            Had Unlimited Data here myself for many a year and likely won’t lose it any time soon. I have two phones, one that is also comped by work, but this conversation wasn’t about personal e-peen size so don’t change the subject in your defeat.

          • Nw_adventure

            You are quite the tool box. Back under the rock. Thanks Management.

          • Dan DeMarco

            Alright you win. Enjoy your Unlimited until you’re no longer employed by the same company anymore. Cheers.

          • Nw_adventure

            Its a personal plan. The 22 percent premier discount is just icing on the cake. Unlimited stays unlimited and I can swap out phones with a Sim.

          • Dan DeMarco

            Someone queue that AT&T audible for me. *bum dum dum duuumm*

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    I remember when Amazon spoke publically about them NOT working on a smartphone.

  • yodatom10

    hope it goes better than those two Facebook phones and that crazy 2screen disaster

    • antwonw

      Just so you know one of those Facebook phone was and still is an excellent phone, the HTC First. The specs on it were great and near Nexus status. But because of Facebook Home’s initial failure and really poor marketing and network exclusiveness, it failed, HORRIBLY!