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Why Samsung might actually be scared of the Fire Phone

Published Jun 23rd, 2014 8:15AM EDT
Amazon Fire Phone Vs. Galaxy S5

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The general reaction to Amazon’s Fire Phone in the United States has been underwhelming to say the least, with some well-respected critics going so far as to say it’s “dead on arrival” and could be an even bigger flop than last year’s HTC-made Facebook phone. However, The Korea Times’ sources are hearing that local mobile powerhouses Samsung and LG are actually worried about the Fire Phone for reasons that seemingly don’t make a lot of sense.

“The top appealing factor for the Amazon phone is competitive pricing and the technology that enables it to produce three-dimensional (3D) images,” one of The Korea Times’ industry sources says, explaining why Samsung and LG view the Fire Phone as a potential threat. “The mobile is customized for shoppers. Customers can shop more conveniently by using the Amazon content platform and Amazon will be able to earn more commissions.”

The claim of “competitive pricing” is especially puzzling because the Fire Phone isn’t competitively priced at all. In fact, at $200 on contract with AT&T, it’s priced just like flagship phones from Apple, Samsung and LG.

Nonetheless, The Korea Times seems to think this is an attractive price for American consumers, who will also get the added “bonus” of being restricted to using the phone on “AT&T, a top-tier carrier in the United States.”

Cho Sung-eun, an analyst at Samsung’s investment arm Samsung Securities, tells The Korea Times that the Fire Phone will “threaten” Samsung and LG because it’s adept at “promoting three caterpillars ― distribution, content and cloud.”

We aren’t exactly sure what he’s talking about what “caterpillars” here, but we do feel confident in saying Samsung has very little to worry from the Fire Phone, at least in its first generation.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.

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