An Amazon Smartphone: Bezos Will Have a Lot of Questions to Answer

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Two months ago, with Fire TV, Amazon (AMZN) lifted the curtain on its plans to take over the living room.

Killing off helpless bookstores and big box retailers hasn't been enough.

With Fire TV, CEO Jeff Bezos entered a space already crowded with products from (among others) Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG). But he's not done.

On Wednesday Amazon asked journalists, developers and Amazon customers to request invitations for a news event scheduled for June 18. If reports are to be believed, Amazon will either announce its plans to enter the smartphone space or unveil an actual device.

In Wednesday's tweet announcing the event, the company included an image of a black object with an Amazon logo that could be a phone.

Jan Dawson, a technology-industry analyst who runs research and advisory firm Jackdaw, described this as Amazon's entry in the most ubiquitous device category there is.

The smartphone is a growth area, but just like the living room, it's a crowded, competitive one.

It is dominated by Samsung, which has a 31% market share, followed by Apple, which controls 15% of the market.

There's also Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows phone, which is showing modest signs of life. And the market is bookended by BlackBerry (BBRY), which refuses to go away.

What does Bezos hope to accomplish with an entrance into this space?

I don't doubt for a moment that Bezos understands the end-game for Amazon. But as evident by the stock's 23% year-to-date decline, the company's persistent "growth at all cost" mentality is quickly becoming an annoyance to investors.


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