Jeff Bezos is not dumb enough to try and take down the top dog in mobile devices. I suspect a competition with Apple did not enter Bezos' mind when he decided to build the Kindle Fire tablet and that it isn't his plan with a smartphone either.
Amazon does what it does to further its related goals of getting current devotees of its ecosystem even more hooked and recruiting new members. Its strategy is all about boosting Amazon Prime, Subscribe & Save and sales of streaming media and MP3s -- its whole interconnected e-commerce scheme. Entrepreneur and blogger Jason Calacanis recently referred to this as the "Amazon Prime cult."Amazon does not care about tablet or smartphone market share. In fact, I don't think Bezos really cares how many devices it sells. He probably only wants to know the effort is worthwhile. For example, if Amazon breaks even on a Kindle Fire sale, perhaps it needs the person who bought it to spend a certain amount more through their Kindle or computer. If Amazon accomplishes that scenario millions of times over, it has won. If it ends up No. 1 in tablets, all the better, as long as the tablet owners buy stuff from Amazon. If it ends up No. 23 in tablets, who cares, as long as the tablet owners buy stuff from Amazon. A smartphone would serve the same purpose, if Amazon actually has plans for one. It would help tie the ecosystem together. You can access your Amazon store, Cloud Drive, your entire e-commerce life no matter where you are. Isn't that really the goal of every company in this always-connected and increasingly mobile world? All of that said, I'm not convinced this is going to go down the way everybody thinks it will. While I see reason for a smartphone that would further tie together the ecosystem, you can argue it's really not necessary.