Ben Thompson (via John Gruber):
The question, though, is if the Fire phone is perfect for Amazon’s customers. Just because someone loves Amazon doesn’t mean their entire life is about buying things. And while it’s true that Amazon has gone to great lengths to make the Fire Phone compelling as a phone, it’s still an inferior offering as compared to a high-end Android phone or especially an iPhone when it comes to things like apps. In this respect it’s fair to compare the Fire Phone to Facebook Home and the HTC First: just because people love Facebook didn’t mean they wanted Facebook to dominate their phone, and by extension, their lives.
Moreover, I was troubled by the faint sense of hubris in yesterday’s presentation; it was 45 minutes too long and included far too much self-congratulation and navel-gazing. We get that the design process for Dynamic Perspective was hard, but that doesn’t mean we care. More broadly, Amazon is a horizontal company: they ought to be serving everyone. Having their own phone introduces the wrong sort of incentives when it comes to Amazon’s efforts on Android and the iPhone; it’s the same danger I see in Microsoft focusing on both services and devices.
I watched coverage of this event on a few sites, and also ended up being bored about halfway through. While I enjoy Amazon and was excited to see their phone offerings, I felt that too much time was spent on the multiple cameras and 3D effects with Dynamic Perspective. It doesn’t really offer something that will change my life or solve something that my almost two-years-old iPhone 5 can’t. Although Firefly looks like a great feature, the rest of the device seems to be more of the same (design, price, features), and I just keep find myself asking “Why?”