Anyone looking for new hardware to shake up the tech industry may have been disappointed by Apple’s (AAPL) lack of new gear at its WWDC 2014 conference keynote. Lots of software updates there, but only hints of future hardware.
Jeff Bezos to the rescue!
Amazon quickly splashed an ad across its home page promoting the launch of a new mystery device, along with a video of people reacting to it. Based on the little glimpse of the mystery device shown on Amazon.com and the comments from the people in the video, it looks as though June 18th will be the day AMZN finally takes the wraps off its long-rumored 3D smartphone.
How confident are we that this is actually an Amazon smartphone, and that it will utilize a 3D display of some description?
There are four factors that support a likely Amazon smartphone launch, and three of those point toward the device incorporating some sort of new 3D technology.
1. The Patents Filed For a 3D Amazon Smartphone
Speculation that AMZN was working on such a device gained momentum last year when Unwired View’s Stasys Bilinis uncovered patents filed by Amazon (with Jeff Bezos listed as the sole inventor) describing a 3D interface for a smartphone. Clearly, Amazon has been working on both 3D interfaces and smartphones, with plans to combine the two.
2. The AMZN launch event video: “It Moved With Me”
Amazon’s website includes a short video where people are reacting to the new device. The hardware itself remains just offscreen, but their reaction strongly hints at the kind of 3D, motion tracking device that the Amazon smartphone has been rumored to have.
3. The Tease Photo
There’s only a sliver of the mystery new hardware shown on the AMZN website, but it’s clearly a mobile device of some sort. It has beveled edges, a flat front and back and its dressed in black. We can’t tell exactly how wide it is or whether there’s a camera on one side. It could be a new Kindle tablet. But what we can see of the form factor is strongly suggestive of the elusive Amazon smartphone.
4. The Smoking Gun: Developer Questions
AMZN has some very interesting questions for software developers who would like to attend the launch event. To see them in full, follow this link and click the radio button indicating you are a developer (don’t worry, nothing bad will happen and you’re not committing to anything). At this point, you’ll see some very interesting questions, including:
“Describe an innovative way in which you have used gyroscopes, accelerometers, or other device sensors in your app development.” And, “Are you interested in developing apps utilizing a new type of sensor?”
The timing of the event is also interesting. There’s nothing that points to it being a 3D Amazon smartphone specifically, but it does represent a pretty opportune time for a company that has zero presence in a ruthlessly competitive industry to try to make a splash. The Samsung (SSNLF) Galaxy S5 — the big release on the Android side — has been launched. It appears that Apple is going to hold off until the fall to release the iPhone 6. There are no major Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Phone smartphone or BlackBerry (BBRY) releases expected.
This would be the perfect time for an Amazon smartphone to launch, taking advantage of the lull between the big Android releases and the coming iPhone launch spectacle. AMZN will get plenty of press coverage, and maybe some of those people who have been holding onto an older iPhone, waiting for Apple to release something larger, will jump ship and give an Amazon smartphone a try.
They might be even more enticed if the Amazon smartphone offers novel new technology like 3D and follows the AMZN model of being priced at break-even levels. And maybe Jeff Bezos throws in some extras from Amazon’s bag of tricks — like Amazon Prime streaming video.
Want to see this mystery new AMZN device in person and find out for yourself whether it is indeed an Amazon smartphone? All you have to do is submit an online application and you could “join Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos” for the big launch event. June 18 in Seattle — mark it in your calendar!
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.