The new Fire Phone has the makings of a top-notch handset, but is it capable of taking sales from the iPhone and Galaxy S5? Will it will drive long-term gains in Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock? Guest host Alison Southwick puts this question to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up on Wall Street, The Motley Fool's Web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.
Tim says the phone boasts a number of cool features powered by four front-facing cameras, but in most other respects it's like any other smartphone. It even looks like every other smartphone. If you're buying, it's probably because you like the idea of having immediate access to Amazon wherever you are. Or maybe you just like having a phone with a purported 3-D display.
Either way, Tim says, Amazon isn't pitching features so much as convenience via an image-based catalog called Firefly. The idea is simple: Point the Fire Phone at something, and it tells you what it is and how to buy it Amazon. All that's missing is a mobile payments option, for those moments when you're shopping and what you find isn't available online. Amazon would still get a cut of the transaction.
Nathan agrees, arguing that everything Amazon does is designed to get you to spend more money at Amazon. That includes a free, one-year trial of Prime for Fire Phone users who choose to take advantage. A smart move when you consider that Prime members tend to spend more than twice as much as non-members, making them a huge source of profits. If the Fire Phone helps bring in a rush of new Prime members, it'll be a win.
Yet that's anything but guaranteed at this point. Nathan says it's always better to bet on the companies that help customers do great things. The Fire Phone isn't that sort of product. Rather, it's a marketing tool for persuading users to do what's best for Amazon. Tim agrees.
Now it's your turn to weigh in using the comments box below. Do you believe the Fore Phone will drive profits and boost Amazon stock? Click the video to watch as Alison puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then be sure to follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!
Alison Southwick has no position in any stocks mentioned. Nathan Alderman owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple. Tim Beyers owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.