Blog Post

Amazon Wireless: Smart Move. So More Specialist Stores to Come?

Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

amazonwireless.gifI just saw that Amazon (s AMZN) has launched a new, special store — dubbed Amazon Wireless — that sells wireless service plans and devices from U.S. carriers AT&T (s T) and Verizon Wireless (s VZ). Sprint and T-Mobile USA are coming to the store soon. To be fair, Amazon is playing catch-up with San Francisco-based specialty e-tailer, LetsTalk, which offers more options when it comes to plans, carriers and devices. It also has a 10-year head start.

Nevertheless, it is safe to predict that thanks to its dominating presence on the Internet, Amazon will be a formidable competitor to LetsTalk. The clean and easy-to-use design, description of devices and quality of reviews alone ensures the future of this offering. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few years from now it becomes a king-maker in this high-volume business. I am frankly surprised that it took Amazon until now to do this, considering that it’s been offering mobile plans and special deals for so long. Wireless retailers get a nice chunk of change from the carriers for the deals they bring to the party.

The big question is if this is a new strategy, that of micro-stores focused on specialist markets. It had launched Endless, a specialty shoe store back in 2007. And Amazon bought, a digital camera review site, in May 2007. How about a digital photography-focused store, or a cooking-related store. What do you guys think?

11 Responses to “Amazon Wireless: Smart Move. So More Specialist Stores to Come?”

  1. How about a digital photography-focused store?

    There already are digitial photography-focused stores..they’re called camera stores. Its exactly this type of thing that helps contribute to this country’s problems. Maybe if people would get back to shopping at their local stores, the economy would be better all around. I own one of those small specialty camera stores. Over 90% of the businesses like mine have disappeared, because people shop based on price ONLY. NO value is placed on service, expertise, advice. Its only about price, price, price. And yet, if you check prices at places like Best Buy, there only a few dollars cheaper than a regular camera store. Now isn’t it worth $20-$30 more to go somewhere that can give you real advice? You may even save money, because you may find out you don’t need that $1200 camera, the $800 would serve you better. But the Best Buys don’t care about the customer and online is just price and reviews, no true customer service. That’s why I don’t even offer e-commerce on my website. I use it for information and educational purposes. Am I competitve? Of course. You have to be. But I can offer so much more than Amazon in personal service. The world will be worse off when all the stores like mine are gone. Check what a regular, family owned camera store should be.

  2. i hope they also sell the service from some of the smaller unknown MVNO’s such as pageplus or sti mobile. these companies offer service at a fraction of the price of the big boys and in my experience have much better customer service(humans often actually answer the phone) the problem is that almost no one has a clue what i am talking about if i suggest them as an alternative.

  3. > How about a digital photography focused store, or a cooking-related store. What do you guys think?

    Only works if the subject is generic and standardized, unlike cooking where there can be endless depth to the variations and discussions, cell phones only have so much relevant information.