Remember our last lighthearted post about Amazon here on Appsplit? That was back in August – where we discussed airbags, jet propulsion, springs and mobile devices – so in case you have forgotten, read it again here. I’m sure your interest will be piqued, to say the least, and maybe you’ll even have a few chuckles too.
I remind you of that post because in the last portion of the discussion, I brought up the possibility that billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos and his company may be focusing on mobile offerings soon: both software and hardware offerings.
This was hinted in the diagrams accompanying their patent application indicating a smartphone. This was also hinted just because Bezos and his co-inventor in the patent application were thinking of mobile devices in general.
I said: “Is this an indication that the Amazon executives are spending their spare time thinking of smartphones? This might be far-fetched, but this might be a hint there could be an Amazon Kindle Phone in the works.”
Well, speaking of hints, another one just surfaced in the tech media indicating that Amazon is really serious about entering the mobile industry space. And no, this is not the Kindle Fire. That’s old news.
First reported by the CLT Blog, Amazon is said to have quietly purchased Yap, a Charlotte, N.C.-based developer of automated mobile speech recognition solutions.
CLT cleverly inferred the acquisition by tracking a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing which showed that on September 8, a certain Yarmuth Dion acquired Yap. As it turns out, Dion and Amazon have the same mailing address. That’s in Amazon’s campus in Seattle. Furthermore, All Things Digital is saying that it has independently confirmed the acquisition. So there you are.
Because of the acquisition, the tech media is buzzing that Amazon will use Yap’s know-how to compete with Siri, the voice-activated assistant which comes with the fresh iPhone 4S. All Things D says that from what they discovered, “that sounds about right”.
It’s in the thoughts. Amazon, through Bezos and his patent application, seems to have indeed hinted early that the company is thinking going mobile. And Amazon clearly has the potential to rival Apple.
Amazon has the potential of developing their own brand of an ecosystem and experience. For one, Amazon has the resources. They have money. They have their official store selling not only apps, but other key products they have like books and other merchandise.
Amazon even has a wider array of products being offered than Apple has. This could shape up to be one main advantage for Amazon’s mobile devices, assuming they will launch more products soon. Its stores – which we suspect will integrate tightly with its devices – may become a one stop shop for everything their customers need. Need books? Your Amazon device has direct access to the Amazon store. Need music, apps, video content and other products? The same case.
Amazon also has Amazon Web Services, their personal and massive web services company. AWS is so big, in fact, that when it experienced problems in April, it took down with it massive sites like Foursquare, Quora, Reddit, Netflix and Zynga sites and a large number of smaller sites which rely on its hosting services.
Amazon now has a tablet too with the Kindle Fire. Who knows, a smartphone may be next. There’s some buzz going on that Amazon will offer a bigger-screened tablet soon. So why not a smartphone next year?
This purchase looks like Amazon developing a complete experience for its devices.
Maybe soon, someone will hold a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Phone and hear Yap saying: “What can I help you with?”
“Nothing, as of the moment, really. But we were expecting you.”