Amazon’s long anticipated Fire smartphone was launched to much fanfare last night and includes a host of features designed to make it stand out from the pack. But one detail that seems to have slipped beneath the radar is that, for now at least, it includes a year long access to Amazon Prime, which following last week’s music announcement, includes free access to an ad-free on demand streaming music service.
What this means is that Amazon have launched a smartphone that gives you a year’s worth of unlimited free music. Six years ago when Nokia tried to do the same with Comes With Music the concept was ground breaking and looked set to change the future of digital music. But Nokia’s flawed implementation of the proposition scared most of the marketplace away from the device bundle model. Beyond Oblivion nearly made it work before folding, and its subsequent offspring Boinc and Yonder are each still trying to prove the model. Rok Mobile are another new entrant.
I still maintain that the device bundle is the best way Apple can extract full value from its recently acquired Beats Music asset but for now all eyes will be on Amazon to see if the model is finally ready for prime time (pun sort of intended) now that it has been sneaked in through the back door.