Amazon's Smartphone May Come With Special 'Prime Data' Plan
An Amazon phone is almost certainly on its way, but the details surrounding its features are still unclear. We’ve heard from multiple sources that 3D effects and gesture-based features will be present, and today another detail has leaked out.
According to BGR, Amazon plans to launch a specialized data plan for its new smartphone called Amazon Prime Data. The details aren’t very clear, but the idea is that Amazon would allow free streaming of its own music, movies, and TV shows for users, similar to AT&T’s Sponsored Data plans, which allow companies to foot the bill for the data used in work-related apps.
The report says that Amazon’s smartphone may be exclusive to AT&T’s network, but will likely not be bundled into the same Sponsored Data plans because of “API limitations and cobranding requirements in apps that use Sponsored Data.”
BGR seems relatively unsure about the actual details of Prime Data, and suggests that the plan might instead include a few free months of data coverage, or steep discounts compared to other data plans.
Amazon has always tried to make its content as accessible as possible, so allowing free streaming of that content would definitely fit the company’s profile.
Prime Data seems like a much better incentive to buy an Amazon smartphone than any 3D interface elements and gesture control. Amazon knows the value of providing low- or no-cost connectivity with its hardware—it has been offering free 3G data network access on its Kindle reader hardware since the launch of the first generation e-ink Kindle in 2007. Amazon also introduced a special $50 subsidized annual AT&T LTE plan for the Kindle Fire HD in 2012, which afforded users 250MB of data usage per month.
Amazon needs users to have access before it can sell them digital content. Prime Data, in whatever form it ends up taking, will likely get smartphone buyers online more cheaply than they would otherwise—and if nothing else about the mysterious Amazon phone has been appealing, this certainly is.