Amazon news items: Amazon Phone!? and Holiday pricing

November 17, 2011

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

A couple of interesting Amazon items out today around a rumored Amazon phone and some interesting price comparisons.

Amazon Phone?!

Mark Mahaney – Top rated internet analyst and Conan O’Brien look-alike, has a note out today that suggests based on Asian supplier checks that Amazon maybe looking to put out their own Smartphone (I would guess Android-based) next year.  Here’s a snippet:

Amazon smartphone may be coming next year  Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi’s Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12. 


This is already on top of speculation that Amazon already has a 10-inch Tablet on the way behind the Fire.

I’m sure many skeptics will have a lot of reasons this doesn’t make sense, but what’s intriguing to me (and long-time readers will know this theme) is this thesis:

  • Amazon sells a lot of smartphones today.
  • As a data-driven retailer, they presumably have a lot of data on what consumers are looking for and buying.  I would say probably more than anyone else – even Apple. e.g. Consumers don’t look to apple for comparisons against Android phones.
  • They are smart and execute well and have a history of that.
  • Therefore (if these rumors are true), must see an opportunity/segment in the market that isn’t being satisfied today that they think they can disrupt with their own phone.
  • BTW, if you havent’ seen AmazonWireless, be sure to check it out and compare that experience vs. buying form Verizon and ATT. It is significantly better because, well, it’s Amazon.

Only time will tell if this rumor is true, but it’s interesting to try and understand what Amazon’s up to here.

Holiday Price Check – Amazon set to dominate with 8-10% value advantage and awesome selection.

I always look forward to the e-commerce price analysis done by Jeetil+Team @ Deutsche Bank.  They have a database of 133 products across different top categories of retail and price check them against all the top online retailers.  In addition to pricing, they look at selection as well.

The bottom line is that Amazon dominates in Selection and price – frequently 8-11% cheaper than other retailers.  This chart does a good job of summarizing their findings:


Another interesting chart shows that over time, Amazon is pulling away (from a value perspective) from eBay and Wal-mart – the two closest competitors: (This looks at only 91 sku’s as that’s the LCD of the three)


The way to read this chart is that in 2010, eBay was 1.8% more expensive and today it’s 8.2%.  These are fully loaded prices – core+S+H+tax+etc.

Interestingly they did note that eBay is leading in Video games and Walmart is being very aggressive in media (books/movies). Also eBay has done a good job in beefing up their selection, last year it was a challenge and this year they have parity across the 133 SKUs.  These final two charts show the selection across several retailers vs. Amazon and you can see eBay has selection parity which is good to see.



SeekingAlpha disclosure – I am long Google and Amazon. ebay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO.