How Amazon Is Enticing Developers To Create Apps For The Fire Phone?


Amazon introduced its much talked about smartphone — Fire phone — this month. Till the launch, the company’s primary business model of selling most of its hardware products has been to sell at a lower margin, hope for massive sales, and make more money off content and services than the device itself.

With the Fire phone it’s looking to somewhat change that image. The Fire phone isn’t priced as a low-margin, affordable device. Instead its pricing matches with that of the iPhone in the US. At $199 under contract, the Fire phone really needs to entice developers to get on board to ensure users can think about the device as being a flagship model. The company did compare its camera to the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S5 during the announcement.

To start with, the company has already released SDKs for the Fire phone to developers. The Fire Phone SDK is made up of two separate packages. The first package is for the Firefly functionality, while the second is for Dynamic Perspective. The former includes the needed libraries and examples for developers to get started right away. Currently it supports Java based apps only.

The second package of the SDK is focussed on Dynamic Perspective. It includes access to the head tracking technology, and other motion sensors that have been embedded into the Fire phone. It’ll be interesting to see what third party developers can come up with to make the most of these features. The second part of the SDK also includes a library of other features on the phone.

That’s not all. Amazon is also giving away 500,000 Amazon Coins, valued at around $5,000 for developers to give to their app users for each paid app or an app with in-app purchases. This should allow developers to market their apps to potential users. Amazon is also going to offer ad rates as high as $6 CPM for interstitial ads in the months of August and September.

Amazon’s Fire phone is likely to cater to existing Amazon customers, especially those who are Prime subscribers. The Firefly functionality makes it very easy for customers to be able to purchase products off Amazon in a jiffy, it also adds a visual search to the phone which is exciting in so many ways.

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