Amazon, Facebook and the Smartphone and the Ecosystem War
Facebook and Amazon Could Find it Hard to Compete With the iPhoneRumors of an Amazon Kindle smartphone and most recently a Facebook phone have been circulating for some time. The latest rumor cites a report out of China that Foxconn has been having manufacturing issues with what could possibly be an Amazon phone. Facebook as just sent out invitations for an event that hints at an Android phone or at least a larger presence. Does an Amazon or Facebook smartphone have a chance of succeeding in an already crowded market? Who do consumers see as having the best platform or ecosystem? In Part One of this special Gadgetology report on Amazon and Facebook, we take a look at platforms and devices and how they stack up in the mind of the consumer.
Apple Beats Amazon and Everyone Else in the Platform War

Whether it’s apps, entertainment, or the whole tech ecosystem, according to our panel of online buyers, Apple is the platform of choice. Despite the fact that Android is gaining ground on Apple in smartphone sales, Apple was selected twice as often as Android for providing the best platform for apps and more than three times as often for music and other entertainment services. Amazon came in second for music and entertainment most likely because of the popularity of Instant Videos and their music offerings. Facebook, which has an active app department didn’t fare very well and neither did other big players including Microsoft and Samsung.

Apple Wins the Tech Ecosystem Popularity Contest

A tech ecosystem includes a group of different devices like TVs, tablets, computers, smartphones, etc. that can all share information, music, videos and other media with each other. Add apps, accessories, a cloud service and other components and the resulting ecosystem becomes a major consideration when choosing one platform over another. In this study almost 75% of the respondents appeared to be familiar with the concept and had an opinion on which one best suited their needs. That number rose to 85% for those under 30 with only 15% of those under 30 saying they didn’t know what a tech ecosystem was. Once again Apple stood out from the pack with 31% saying Apple was their ecosystem of choice. Although Amazon doesn’t come close to Apple in the tech ecosystem competition, we were surprised how well it fares against the Google/Android and Facebook or Microsoft camp. Once again, we suspect Amazon Instant Videos and music service along with Amazon Prime contributes to Amazon’s good showing.

Interest in an Amazon Phone is Low

The platform discussion leads us to the big question of whether or not consumers will buy an Amazon branded smartphone or service. It looks like Apple doesn’t need to be too concerned about Amazon depriving them of many iPhone sales with two thirds of the respondents saying they were not interested in an Amazon phone. On the positive side, it appears that many consumers would keep an open mind as a quarter of them indicated they would need to know more before making a decision and 10% even said they would consider an Amazon phone or phone and service. That number rises to 13% for the younger generations. Amazon Prime members appear to be almost twice as willing as non-Prime members to consider buying an Amazon smartphone or smartphone and service.

Even Less Interest in a Facebook Phone

We also asked our panel about their interest in a Facebook phone and came up with an even less enthusiastic response with more than 80% of respondents saying they would not consider buying a Facebook phone.

Conclusion: Amazon and Facebook Would Have an Uphill BattleAlthough Amazon has made inroads in the tablet market against the iPad partly due to an aggressive pricing strategy and all you can watch videos for Prime members, we have to wonder if they have a viable enough ecosystem to compete with the iPhone. As we wait to see what Amazon and Facebook have in mind for that market, results from this study suggest they will have an uphill battle.
About the StudyThe Amazon studies were conducted via the Bizrate Insights survey platform and offered to online buyers immediately after purchasing from the Bizrate Insights Network of over 5,200 ecommerce retailers in the US and Canada. Data from this study was collected from 3,269 online buyers from March 11th – 14th, 2013.
About RetrevoRetrevo.com has been helping shoppers discover, evaluate and buy gadgets since 2006. The site, which is part of Shopzilla, Inc offers product reviews, product ratings, editorial recommendations and other product landscape perspectives that inform what, when and where-to-buy decisions.
About Bizrate InsightsFor over 12 years, Bizrate Insights has helped retailers listen to their customers in a way that is fast and measurable, resulting in insights, action, conversation, and customer loyalty. The Bizrate Insights customer feedback and ratings platform allows retailers to collect seller ratings directly from verified customers. Standard ratings are published across the leading comparison shopping site, Bizrate.com, and syndicated across the web’s largest search engines to help drive conversion and traffic. Collecting over 16 million surveys annually, Bizrate Insights is one of the largest sources of consumer-generated review content in the world, delivering actionable insights and valuable shopper data to key decision makers in e-commerce.

Visit http://bizrateinsights.com to learn more about our FREE and paid buyer and site abandonment survey and reporting products.

Graphics from this study can be downloaded here.

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