On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, man invented fire.
This time around, fire arrived in the form of a cell phone, the Amazon Fire.
“The phone is gorgeous,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO. “I can’t wait for you to get your hands on it. Premium materials, rubberized frame. Gorilla Glass on both sides.”
The announcement took place at an auditorium somewhere in Seattle to a room full of technology analysts, current Amazon customers, and (slightly) jaded journalists. Over the room hung the aroma of sweaty jock straps. No one seemed to notice.
Amazon Fire began its evolution on the drawing board five years ago, in 2009.
With this week’s launch, Amazon joined the ranks of other fast-track technology companies, proving they, too, can move at the speed of molasses.
Jeff sat down with me for a one-on-one interview that lasted exactly 3 minutes. Which turned out to be 2 minutes too long.
BD: Jeff! Amazing day. Are you excited?
Jeff: You bet, BD. This phone is GORGEOUS! It’s almost too hot to handle!
BD: Tell me about it. What makes the Amazon Fire so special?
Jeff: Well, first off. It’s GORGEOUS! Here, take a close look.
[He holds out the phone but won’t let BD touch it. When it appears her breath is fogging the screen, Jeff pulls his arm back another six inches.]
See how the light reflects off the aluminum buttons? Doesn’t matter which way you hold it, it looks GORGEOUS!
BD: It is nice looking.
Jeff: Nice looking? Are you sure we’re both looking at the same phone? This is a work of art. It’s a Rembrandt on a teeny, tiny canvas. It practically paints with light! It’s like going on a blind date and discovering, against all odds, that your date is a supermodel. It’s GORGEOUS!
BD: But…how’s it different from the iPhone or the Galaxy S?
Jeff: Different? How do you mean? This baby is in a class of her own. It’s GORGEOUS! See how it makes my hand look more attractive just by my holding it? I can see this beauty taking over the engagement ring market ’cause when your girlfriend sees how sexy her hand looks just holding an Amazon Fire, she’ll want to wear one in her left hand instead of a diamond ring. It’s that GORGEOUS!
BD: But what does it do?
Jeff: Do? You mean how does it function? I’m sure it’s got the usual apps. I’ll have one of the tech guys meet up with you before you leave. But to be clear. Amazon Fire doesn’t HAVE to do anything. It’s a thing of beauty. It just “is.”
BD: (sighing) Okay. How about phone calls. Does it “do” phone calls?
Jeff: I think so. I mean, I haven’t actually tried to make a call. I’ve got people to make calls for me. And I’m sure it’s set up to handle voice mail. I’d have to check with my secretary. Would you like me to get her for you?
BD: NO! Here’s a thought. I’ll read from the media release and you just nod your head.
Jeff: Great. Good. I can do that. [He continues to gaze at his phone; his hands gently fondling the buttons.]
BD: Okay and I’m quoting here…
Perhaps most interestingly, the phone is capable of displaying images in 3D, thanks to four specialized cameras on the front of the phone that track a person’s head movement. The 3D imaging even works in the dark because the cameras can see infrared light.
‘The key is knowing where the user’s head is at all time,’ Bezos said.”
BD: Can you explain in more detail how this feature works?
Jeff: Sure. It’s a camera in your phone. But it doesn’t just take a picture. It takes a GORGEOUS picture. It works especially well for selfies. In particular, butt selfies. The Amazon Fire uses a number of cameras that are strategically placed around the phone so when you’re holding the phone over your shoulder in the bathroom, the camera knows you’re looking at your butt and takes what looks like a three-dimensional image. It has great zoom ability, too. We’re thinking we’ll have to add a small warning note in the packaging, though. Testing has shown that images may seem larger than they actually are.
Did I mention that Kim Kardashian has signed on to be the spokesperson for Amazon Fire? She’s the one who suggested we add the warning. Smart girl, Kim.
BD: Umm. Well, Jeff, this has been somewhat informative. Anything else you’d like to add before I file this story?
Jeff: This phone is going to take a big bite out of the market share for cell phones. Amazon Fire is GORGEOUS! It looks GORGEOUS, it has GORGEOUS new features, and it looks GORGEOUS in your hand. But most importantly for consumers…Amazon Fire is GORGEOUS!
So there you have it. The latest offering from Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder. A cell phone so GORGEOUS Amazon is hoping you won’t notice it looks exactly like an iPhone.