U.S. mobile commerce is exploding. Amazon, as a leading ecommerce site, is set to grab a big chunk of that.
But when it comes to mobile, Amazon’s ambitions are anything but limited to ecommerce.
Recent reports from BI Intelligence detail Amazon’s mobile ambitions, analysing everything from the potential impact of a rumoured Amazon smartphone to Amazon’s ability to become a huge player in mobile advertising.
Here’s a brief overview of Amazon’s mobile ambitions:
- Tablet Sales: Sales of the Kindle Fire have been lukewarm after blowing out of the gates at the end of last year. Sales in the subsequent two quarters are about half what the company sold in that quarter. Amazon is releasing new Kindle Fire tablets, and its tablets are priced very competitively. With the release of the Nexus and the iPad mini, the competition has never been hotter.
- Software sales: The Amazon Appstore has been a huge success on the Kindle Fire. Developers make almost as much revenue per active user as they do on iOS, and Apple executives reportedly worry that Amazon’s controlled, iTunes-like approach makes it more competitive than other app stores, including one operated by Google. Given strong early results, Amazon shouldn’t have a hard time convincing developers to bring their apps to an Amazon phone.
- Media sales: The Kindle Fire is best understood as an interactive catalogue which drives sales of all sorts of Amazon products. The Kindle ecosystem includes ebooks (Kindle app), music (Amazon MP3), movies and TV shows (Amazon Prime), and apps.
- Smartphone Sales: Amazon continues to push forward with the makings of a smartphone platform. The potential platform has been widely rumoured but not yet confirmed. The beginnings of a platform strategy are coming together: a recent purchase of 3D mapping startup UpNext, last year’s acquisition of voice recognition software creator Yap, and the launch of a prepaid wireless service in Japan. However, big questions remain about its ability to build out and manage a software platform and design the hardware to deliver it.
- Mobile ads: Amazon has the potential to be a huge force in mobile advertising. Data is the lifeblood of online advertising and Amazon has a unique data trove. It’s not just data on what people like to buy, but data on what recommendations work in getting people to buy things.
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