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Bezos’s Baby

Photo: CNN

Bezos shows off the Fire Phone

Jeff Bezos looked excited to show of the new Amazon Fire Phone on Wednesday, however I can’t say that I feel the same way about the new product.

Here are my quick thoughts:

  • With the initial price rolling in at $650 (without contract), it’s just below the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5S at $700 and $750, respectively. I’m a little disappointed as I thought Amazon would stick to its traditional ways and go real low, igniting a price competition much to the consumer’s delight.
  • The Fire Phone will have five times less apps than both iOS and Android – a big negative.
  • Using AT&T as the sole carrier for a few years (similar to what Apple did with the launch of the iPhone) is a great way to cut costs rather than creating phones for each large carrier. Good thinking there.
  • Four front-facing cameras that analyze your eye movements is not only sort of freaky, it also seems as though it will be a huge drain on battery.
  • I do like the Firefly feature that allows users to essentially “scan everything” and find (buy) it on the Amazon website. If I was a retailer, I would be terrified of this, although people already have been going into brick-and-mortar stores to see what they like and then walking out to buy it online for cheaper.
  • If Bezos thinks that 3D is the big differentiator that will take out Apple and Android, he’ll have to try again.
  • I believe the money invested in this product could’ve been used as research and development for a more promising idea.

I think we’ll see a small percentage of people switch to Amazon as their contracts expire, but nothing crazy. If they rolled out a cheaper phone that was targeted to a larger audience, I think they could’ve had a game changer. Without a game changer, good luck taking on Android’s killer ~80% worldwide smartphone market share and Apple’s cult-like following that won’t switch brands.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/18/tech/mobile/amazon-fire-phone-firefly/

Elon Musk makes history (again)

The same man that created Paypal and beat NASA at its own game is also transforming the auto industry as we know it. Elon Musk, currently the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, announced last week that he is opening up all of Tesla’s patents to the public. I applaud this decision as not only is this a great move to benefit society as whole it’s a great business move for Tesla as the electric vehicle market will grow larger, faster. Could Elon Musk be the most important CEO of all-time already?

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

$9,500,000 for what?!

Most would take a 7.06% CAGR on their investments over the course of 34 years, but where’s the best place for that type of return? Emerging markets? Small caps?

Nope, just your typical “buy low, sell high” strategy with stamps:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rare-1-cent-stamp-sells-for-9-5-million/

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