Who wants to buy an Amazon phone? Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) started taking orders for its Fire Phone last week, but inside AT&T (NYSE:T) stores the coming iPhone 6 is complicating the decision-making for potential buyers.
An Amazon Fire phone is displayed at an AT&T retail store on Wall Street in New York. Thomas Halleck / International Business Times
Amazon launched the Fire Phone with some nice perks, including a year of Amazon Prime (free shipping), unlimited cloud storage for photos and Firefly, an app that can recognize products in photos and find them on Amazon.com. It also launched a media blitz including TV ads on networks like FX and Nickelodeon. Just as important: Amazon has thousands of AT&T (NYSE:T) employees talking up the phone at more than 2,200 stores across the country.
The anticipated iPhone 6 may sport some new connectivity features, including NFC and a newer form of Wi-Fi.
Amid the mad dash to reveal features of the iPhone 6, the latest report on the expected smartphone focuses on its connectivity capabilities.
AppleInsider over the weekend said the anticipated iPhone 6 will include NFC, also known as near-field communications. The technology is most often discussed in connection with mobile payments — with people swiping their phones at a register to make a payment — but it can be used for other things. Rumors Apple would integrate NFC into its phones have been around for years, but this report could have particular significance as Apple is predicted to unveil its own mobile-payments service soon. Many companies have been dabbling with NFC, and several rival smartphones already support it.
Ford Motor Co. (F) is deploying iPhones for corporate use to employees worldwide, scoring a win for Apple Inc. (AAPL) as it seeks to lure more corporate customers.
The second largest U.S. automaker will replace BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)’s smartphones with iPhones for about 3,300 workers by the end of this year, Sara Tatchio, a Ford spokeswoman, said yesterday in an interview. About 6,000 more employees will receive iPhones over the next two years, replacing flip phones, she said. Ford is hiring a mobile technology analyst whose main focus will be to oversee the “global deployment of corporate iPhones,” the company said in an online job posting.