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September 11, 2014
Amazon's $.99 Smartphone Fire Push
 
It was just announced that Amazon is selling its smartphone Fire — its 32GB version — for only 99 cents. The idea is to attract more people to try out the phone, and eventually have them move up to the 64GB version of the phone, which costs $100.

Amazon isn't giving everything away, however. The customers still must sign up for a two-year contract with AT&T.

So, is this a good idea for Amazon?

It depends. It is a common strategy used for Internet products. One gets a nearly free trial with limited functions, and then if consumers want the real deal, they have to commit. Not only does the act of paying a higher price show a sign of commitment, but the willingness to do it also mentally indicates that the consumer plans on using the product for some time.

So in terms of UX, it could definitely work.

We are so used to seeing companies adapt traditional strategies to the digital world; to see a company use a digital strategy in the traditional world is a delightful mix.

What are your thoughts? Think it'll work?

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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