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商业 - 科技

亚马逊为何要放弃自己做手机?

Sarah Silbert 2015年09月10日

从Fire Phone这类硬件产品中全身而退,可能是亚马逊做出的最明智的决定。亚马逊所擅长的,是把音乐、视频和Kindle内容通过一系列兼容设备无缝递送给用户。这家电商巨头完全没必要与苹果和三星等公司争夺智能手机市场。

    在推出Fire Phone智能手机进军移动电子市场的尝试遭遇失败后,亚马逊似乎开始反思自己能否成为一家大型硬件制造商。就在上周,该公司解聘了几十名手机部门的工程师,这是亚马逊硬件部门Lab126近 11年来首次裁员。

    从Fire Phone这类硬件产品中全身而退,可能是亚马逊做出的最明智的决定。这家公司最成功的产品往往与他们出售的软件产品紧密结合在一起,比如Kindle电子书,为广受好评的无线音箱Echo提供Amazon Prime Music服务。

    通过提供方便和快捷的服务——从Amazon Prime免费两日送达服务,到Amazon Locker包裹自提柜——以及透明的数字销售环境,亚马逊积累了超过4000万名用户。

    Current Analysis公司分析师艾维•格林加特表示:“电子阅读器、平板电脑和电视机顶盒都专注于内容消费,这是亚马逊最具竞争力的领域。值得一提的是,亚马逊也是最早进入这些产品领域的公司之一,而不是随大流推出受欢迎产品的跟风者。”

    一款像Fire Phone这种专注于亚马逊自身服务(而不是像其他安卓手机那样运行)的产品,要求用户调整对智能手机的期望,而不是提高期望。

    行业分析师杰夫•卡干表示:“Fire Phone从未抓住用户的想象力。这里也要提一句,Facebook的智能手机也是如此。”

    两款产品失败的原因非常类似:“他们优先考虑的是自己公司的喜好,而不是用户的喜好。就像卡干所说:“用户可以用自己手机应用在亚马逊网站下单,这才是他们想要的。”就算要把各种产品全部卖给顾客,该公司也几乎不需要特别的设备。

    在硬件领域,尤其是移动产品上,已经有许多竞争力十足的智能手机品牌了——苹果、三星和许多其他公司都可以做得更好。而亚马逊擅长的,是把音乐、视频和Kindle内容通过一系列兼容设备无缝递送给用户,消除任何有可能阻止用户购买该公司产品的障碍。

    一个例外可能是厨房设备Kabinet。据《华尔街日报》报道,这款设备正处于开发阶段。它将会作为一个管理任务的联网中枢,实现在亚马逊网站下订单等功能。在这个领域,亚马逊无需与其他根深蒂固的品牌竞争,实际上,公司等于是开发了一项新设备直接用于产品提供,同时还能满足忙碌的家庭需要。

    从长期来看,这次失败对亚马逊意味着什么?卡干表示:“我不认为它会影响公司的未来。亚马逊已经非常壮大了,它还会继续发展下去。”(财富中文网)

    译者:严匡正

    审校:任文科

    After an unsuccessful foray into the mobile electronics market with the Fire Phone, Amazon appears to be rethinking its ambitions to become a major hardware maker. Just last week, the company let go dozens of engineers who worked on the flop of a smartphone—marking the first layoffs in 11 years for Amazon’s Lab126 hardware unit.

    Backing away from hardware like the Fire Phone is the smartest thing Amazon could do. The company’s greatest product successes have been those that tie directly into the software offerings it sells, such as ebooks for the Kindle and Amazon Prime Music for the well-received Echo speaker.

    Amazon’s amassed more than 40 million users by offering convenience and speed—from free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime to package pickup with Amazon Locker—in addition to selling everything under the sun via its digital storefront.

    “e-Readers, tablets, and TV set top boxes are all focused on content consumption, where Amazon is more competitive,” says Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis. It’s also worth noting that Amazon has been an early entrant in many of these product categories, not an also-ran introducing its own take on a popular device.

    A product like the Fire Phone, which focuses on Amazon’s own services rather than functioning like any other Android phone, requires users to adjust their expectations of a smartphone rather than raise them.

    “The Fire Phone simply never caught the imagination of users,” says industry analyst Jeff Kagan. “Then again, neither did Facebook’s smartphone.”

    Both products failed for similar reasons: They put the company’s priorities ahead of users’ preferences. As Kagan says, “Users can order on Amazon.com from their smartphone with the app and that is what they want.” To sell its vast selection of products to customers, the company hardly needs specialized devices.

    When it comes to hardware—especially mobile, with so many competitive smartphones already on the market—Apple, Samsung, and many others can do it better. What Amazon can do better is seamlessly deliver its music, video, and Kindle content to users across a range of compatible devices, without any friction that could prevent customers from purchasing the company’s products.

    One exception to the rule may be Kabinet, a device for the kitchen which, WSJ reports, is in development. The product will serve as an Internet-connected hub for managing tasks such as ordering items on Amazon. Here, though, the company wouldn’t be competing with other well-established products; rather, it would be developing a new device that ties directly into its product offerings while addressing the needs of a busy household.

    As to what Amazon’s latest consumer-electronics flop could mean in the long term, Kagan says, “I don’t think this will have an impact on the company’s future. Amazon has grown and will continue to grow.”

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