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Amazon Unveils Fire Smartphone

The phone will include unlimited photo storage in the cloud.

Ina Fried

After months of speculation, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos announced the long-anticipated Fire smartphone.

The device features a 4.7-inch screen, to fit snugly in the hand, a 2.2-gigahertz processor and 2 gigabytes of RAM for storage and image stabilization. But the announcement that generated the most applause at today’s press event in Seattle was unlimited photo storage for Fire smartphone buyers on Amazon’s cloud.

Bezos argues that this device builds on Amazon’s hardware expertise — referencing the Kindle e-reader and the Fire tablet and set-top box — and its Prime ecosystem of content. He said customers have been asking for a phone for years.

“Inside Amazon, we ask a different question,” Bezos said. “We ask how would it be different?”

Amazon wades into a market dominated by Apple and Samsung. Together, these two players command about 46 percent of all mobile phones sold globally last year, according to Yankee Group. The retail giant will seek to differentiate its device through novel features, such as its hands-free scrolling.

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