Will Customers Buy Amazon's 3D Phone?

The online giant appears ready to finally enter the phone market. The question is, Will anyone care?

Daniel B. Kline
Daniel B. Kline, Jason Hellmann, and Jake Mann
Jun 16, 2014 at 10:59AM
The Business

AmazonĀ (NASDAQ:AMZN) released a video this week showing people marveling at a device that many believe to be the company's long-rumored 3D phone. Though the clever video never actually shows what exactly is exciting the people, technology blogs and news sites all say that's what it is. Amazon, of course, has not commented, but the company has scheduled a press event for June 18 where it will likely debut the phone.

With its release moving from rumored to inevitable, the question remains whether people actually will want it and what impact it might have on the online retailer's business. Host Jason Hellmann along with panelists Daniel Kline and Jake Mann debated the issue on Business Take, the show that gives you the Foolish perspective on the most important business stories of the week.

"I'm a huge Amazon fan ... but I'm not so sure I need an Amazon phone," Kline said.

"If the price is right," Mann said. "It really depends on how much the technology can change the user experience.... But at the end of the day I think the success of the phone comes down to price."

It also matters, Mann explained, how the company will sell the phone and who it chooses as its partners.

Kline expects the phone will sell for $99 or $149 and that it will be a success but not a category changer, much like the Kindle Fire tablet. The phone, he explained, will simply be another platform on which Amazon can sell to its customers. The people who buy the phone will have easy access to purchasing through the familiar Amazon interface, which should incrementally increase sales for the company. The phone will also enhance the value of Amazon's free video and its newly announced free music service.

"I don't love the 3D aspect of this," Hellmann said.

"It's not 3D movies," Kline said. The 3D is a gimmick to show products and make them easier to buy through the online retailer, he explained.

Would you buy an Amazon phone? Does 3D matter to you? What price would you pay for it? Watch the video for the full story, then share your thoughts in the comments section below.