We’ve all but confirmed an Amazon phone is on the horizon, with a mystery device in the announcement and poorly edited video teasing the device. What remained to be seen was just how Amazon would tie their offering into Prime. A new report hints at just how we’ll be able to take advantage of an Amazon phone on our carrier of choice.
A Reuters report suggests Amazon will use their new “Pay With Amazon” feature to let us pay for just about anything. The payment option is already being relied on by many companies to manage their subscription services.
Using the information we already stow away in Amazon, the online retailer you probably just bought something from will charge you for, say, that Rhapsody subscription (just an analogy, not a claim). They take a small cut from Rhapsody for the transaction, essentially making them an online payment solution. They have our info, and our trust.
If Amazon can take that model and turn it around for carrier use, they might just have a winner. Selling us an Amazon phone was always a bit of a tough grab; their marketplace is limited, and why would carriers want another phone to sell? Their stores are already packed.
The average consumer is going to find just about anything they need with Amazon’s App Store, though, and that’s likely who this phone will be for. From apps like Facebook to simpler games, Amazon has the basics covered nicely. The soccer moms and bank clerks of the world are also likely to have an Amazon account, making them perfect for this new program.
If — and that’s a big IF — Amazon can take the work out of the carrier’s hands, they’re likely to have a winner. This could also lead into connected Kindle tablets, with the same rules applying. We order a phone via Amazon, activate it at the time of purchase, and it arrives to us — ready to go. The monthly payment is drawn from our Amazon account/card on file, and the carrier has become a secondary consideration for us. Amazon is our new face for mobile in this scenario.
The service is already being used with mobile carrier Ting, a smaller regional offering. Aside from working for Amazon, it also works out better for Ting, where 30% of consumers who use Amazon as a payment option end up spending more via Ting’s website. That’s a win-win-win: Amazon, the carrier, and the consumer.