Rumors have been circulating for quite a while about Amazon doing a smartphone. Thanks to BGR we’ve finally gotten a look at what Amazon’s smartphone looks like, and it looks a lot like…well…an iPhone. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, the iPhone has been enormously successful so it’s no shocker that Amazon might be…er…inspired by it.
Apple loves to sue other companies
Let’s face it, Apple has never been shy about suing other companies that they think have infringed on their intellectual property. The recent legal fights with Samsung are a good example, but there have been others over the years. At one point Steve Jobs even vowed to use Apple’s billions to destroy Android in court because he regarded it as a stolen product.
Apple has made it clear that they will go after anybody that they think has copied their work. The company has spent millions and millions of dollars trying to protect its patents and products. The end result has been somewhat muddled, but that doesn’t mean that Apple will stop sending its lawyers after those it regards as thieves.
In terms of size, we’re told that the phone is a bit large but is reasonably comfortable to use with one hand. Amazon’s unique gesture controls were designed in part to make one-handed operation of a large phone as easy as possible, and one source tells us the phone definitely succeeds in that regard.
Our sources tell us the device will feature specs including a 4.7-inch display with 720p HD resolution, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, six individual camera modules and a highly customized version of Google’s Android operating system similar to the one seen on Amazon’s various Kindle Fire tablets.
Two strikes against Amazon?
Amazon recently released the Fire TV set top box, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Apple TV. That plus the new smartphone might be considered two strikes against Amazon by Apple’s lawyers. It makes me wonder if there will be some sort of legal tipping point where Apple decides that it has enough of a case to finally go after Amazon.
There’s no way to know what Apple’s legal department is thinking, however. They could be watching Amazon’s moves closely while preparing some sort of legal retaliation, or they could be ignoring Amazon altogether. One of the problems with trying to figure Apple out is that the company doesn’t willingly share much information about such things. So everything is pretty much guess work.
On the other hand…the Kindle Fire tablets
For the flip side of the question of Apple suing Amazon, we can look at the Kindle Fire tablet. It doesn’t look quite as much like the iPad as Amazon’s smartphone looks like the iPhone, but the resemblance is close enough that Apple probably took a look at the Kindle Fire tablet when it was released.
But no legal action by Apple ever happened in response to Amazon releasing the Kindle Fire tablet. So it may be that Apple won’t make any moves to sue Amazon when it releases its smartphone. Apple might simply consider Amazon to be a small, niche player in the smartphone market and could simply ignore the Amazon smartphone’s resemblance to the iPhone.
Too many lawsuits
While Apple is certainly a prominent example, it’s not the only company that tends to be lawsuit-happy. Many other technology companies sue competitors with alarming regularity, and frankly I’m rather sick of it. I wonder what new or improved products could have been created with the millions and millions of dollars that have gone to lawyer’s fees and legal proceedings.
Perhaps Shakespeare was right about lawyers.
What’s your take on this? Tell me in the comments below.