Ever since the Kindle Fire became official, there have been rumors that Amazon was going to leap into the cell phone market. Things had gone quiet on this information for the past few weeks, but yesterday’s news that Amazon looked into buying RIM pretty much confirmed the rumors they are at least exploring the concept.
Amazon has yet to say anything about a phone, but one has to wonder why they would have explored buying one of the most famous phone manufacturers in the world if they weren’t intent on releasing a phone in the future. Some could say it was due to the PlayBook as they have entered the world of tablets, but they seem to have done that pretty successfully without any help in the case of the Kindle Fire. So this really only leaves phones as the only reason Amazon could have wanted to add RIM to their portfolio.
This begs the question, however, of why Amazon would want a cell phone company to help them develop a phone when they seem to have done so well on their own with a tablet? Nigam Arora at Forbes brought up some good points in that Amazon would have to work with carriers to get their phone out there, and navigating that minefield isn’t exactly easy. Despite RIM’s financial troubles, they have pre-existing relationships with just about every carrier on the face of the planet. Buying RIM would give Amazon an in-road to knowing how each carrier tests new handsets, they could build on pre-existing relationships with management and all of this could propel them to a major contender in a very short period of time as opposed to having to build from the ground up.
With the door to buying RIM seemingly to have been closed, one has to wonder where Amazon would look next. It’s doubtful they’ve given up on the dream of releasing a branded phone, but there aren’t many established companies out there besides RIM that they could come close to buying. They may just end up having to start from scratch, but something tells me the name “Amazon” may open at least a few doors to them.
What do you think? Was trying to buy a pre-existing phone manufacturer a way of fast tracking themselves with the carriers?