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eCounsel group

A boutique firm with unparalleled expertise in business and technology. We have good command of industrial ecology and legal practice, and have undertaken highly regarded cases. Because the small business scope, we pay more emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency, and choose clients with deliberation. The managing partner not only has extensive experiences in various legal issues more over than 20 years, but invests and manages several technology companies. In addition, he always checks each case rigorously. Clients’ business objectives are our primary focus. To achieve the same in the most cost-effective fashion trumps all seemingly sophisticated legal discussions.

Rare Setback for Amazon

2015 - 06 - 09

Amazon Is Taking A $170 Million Charge For Unsold Fire Phones

「It looks like Amazon’s first smartphone hasn’t been a hit.
The company announced during quarterly earnings Thursday that it would take a $170 million charge for unsold Fire Phones and other related costs. The Fire Phone is sold exclusively through AT&T in the US……. The Fire Phone went on sale this summer, but all indicators pointed to disappointing sales. Reviews were pretty bad across the board…….」
http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-170-million-fire-phone-charge-2014-10

Bezos在2014/7發表Fire Phone。不到四個月,Amazon就為它認虧一億七千萬美金。對此有著墨的全球IT領域的分析師,關於這個產品為什麼會敗得這麼慘,都寫得膚淺至極。嫌它的外觀設計、講它的OS以及有限的app、罵它活該一開始只綁了AT&T、定價太貴、Firefly不夠準…

這些分析師,在Amazon的產品布局以及全球mobile landscape上,根本沒看到歷史縱深,難怪只能隔靴搔癢。

以下是「我的觀察啦」;謬誤難免,歡迎朋友賜正。

近20年來自己醉心研究IT領域的各家商業模式,一開始只是阿宅,後來不小心就遁入魔道。去年十一月有連續兩周,為了徹底搞清楚由這個由Foxconn代工的Fire Phone問題是否出在電話本身,我在紐約 – 首爾 – 台北三個城市,把原本的手機都收起來,整天只用它。我的結論是:

(1) 論設計、質感、規格,空機賣$650,稍貴,但不算離譜

(2) FireOS穩定度夠;UI/UX雖與iOS和Android略有差異,但不難適應

(3) 雖然app量少,但Amazon也作了相當努力。除了Amazon自家的Kindle/Prime Video/Music外,又另外安裝使用Skype, WhatsApp, FB, FB messenger, Pandora, Netflix。總之,我生活和工作上的需要基本上已都能滿足,操作的流暢度也完全沒有問題

那,它到底是怎麼死的?

一是核心亮點抓錯,二是推出時機太晚。

Bezos強打Firefly辨識文字、商品、音樂、影像的技術,說老實話,這個功能就算做得再好,依舊不屬於mobile phone的核心需求。想靠這個,在到了2014早已人手一機且新機輩出的茫茫機海裡叫大家買單?

iPhone在2007推出,第一支正式版本的Android機是2008的HTC Dream,WhatsApp在2009就已經很威了。我認為,如果Amazon在2011之前搞出一個附帶全球漫遊無限messaging方案(類似現在的ChatSim Plus)的Fire Phone,保證大賣。

大家或許會問說,為什麼Amazon應該強打這一點?!

其實,為了讓Kindle的持有人在每個國家都能上網選書買書、並且固定下載所訂閱的報紙雜誌,早在2007就推出了Whispernet,這是全球永久免漫遊費的3G access方案(但如果是下載報紙雜誌,全球漫遊必須多付每周$4.99)。此外,用Kindle查Google和Wikipedia也是免費的。Amazon已經和世界各國的電信公司敲下這樣的合約,如果順勢和世界各國電信公司合作,推出Fire Phone、在全球不必顧慮漫遊費多寡就能即時用app傳訊息的話,怎麼可能會落到現在這步田地?!

於此之上,再捆綁kindle看書聽音樂看電影及影集的方案(Prime Music拿到的授權是全球的,但目前Prime Video只在北美;但如果真想打天下,本來就該拿全天下之授權啊),可以更強化Fire Phone的吸引力。

值此hTC全面沈淪之際,回頭看看Amazon跌的這一跤,雖然不能算輕,但也沒讓老貝傷到筋動到骨。果然,家大業大的人還是有權利任性的啊!!!

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