Legere reacts to Amazon phone AT&T exclusive rumor

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Over the past couple of days, rumors have cropped up online claiming that the Amazon phone could end up as an AT&T exclusive. The device – which many are expecting to be launched tomorrow – drew comparison to the failed “Facebook Phone”, aka HTC First, which famously lasted only one month.

It’s rare for John Legere to pass up an opportunity to goad his competitors, and he didn’t disappoint this time out:

I must admit, I’m surprised by reports of an exclusivity deal. In my mind, the right strategy for the Amazon phone in any market is to “do a Nexus”. Or, similar to Kindle devices, sell them on Amazon.com or through third party retailers carrier-free. By releasing it as an exclusive, tied to any carrier, it makes it so much harder to shift enough units to make it a worthwhile product for Amazon. I mean, it’s not like Amazon’s going to have an iPhone moment and create a product that everyone will be clamoring to grab.

Of course, nothing has been announced yet. And I’m reacting way before we have any definitive information. But, as it stands, the Amazon phone looks doomed to failure before it’s even arrived.

Via: Twitter

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  • monkeybutts

    I’m interested in seeing what the “prime data” will actually be. Amazon has always had kindle partnerships with AT&T data so it makes sense that they get the phone. I hope they are smart enough to sell some of their phones unlocked.

    • Cam Bunton

      I sincerely hope so. It’s hard to see a big future for a phone that’s tied to a network. The market was a completely different place when the iPhone launched exclusively in 2007.

      • Jerry S.

        Are you going to post the other tweets about it?

        • no to masa son

          The other tweets are still up on Twitter. At least until John realizes he better delete his comments about big and bigger getting together. #sprintlikehell #fruckedup

        • superg05

          you tweeted that

  • Willie D

    Who cares about Amazon phones? I mean honestly, it seems gimmicky at best. There are people who buy kindles and get data from them, but they could give a crap if the data comes from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile… I think John is pissed off that Amazon, being a Seattle company didnt come to him first, also being a Seattle company.

    • BlackJu

      You don’t even know what it is, but have already written it off.

      • Willie D

        Where have you been? All the reports, photos, etc show the device and using multiple cameras drains battery life, and the whole 3D aspect is done and over with. It didn’t catch on, hell even TV manufactures are producing less 3D TVs cause its just not cool. So yeah, I wrote it off. Amazon Prime is quite costly and c’Mon on AT&T the data wouldn’t be unlimited anyway… Bleh.

        • BlackJu

          You have no idea what exactly it is, how will be implemented, our how greatly it will affect battery life. You are making quite a few assumptions here. Please list for me the number of gimmicky electronics amazon has produced that sold poorly. Yeah, I think they know what they are doing.

  • Travis McPherson

    I find his response to me interesting too…

    @TravisMcP @amazon @ATT I can't remember saying they didn't :)— John Legere (@JohnLegere) June
    17, 2014


  • BlackJu

    Today’s exclusivity agreements tend to carry a finite duration. ATT will be rewarded with the amazon faithful, amazon will get the device in peoples’ hands, and this will no doubt be offered at a highly subsidized rate.

  • BigMixxx

    I think he is going after the firsts with ATT. Amazon phone is a good example. He is aggressively going after those exclusives (Lumia 1520, padphone)

  • donnybee

    Wouldn’t the fact that the T-Mobile CEO doesn’t think it’s coming to his network, and instead going to AT&T, give evidence that they aren’t rumors anymore? I mean if anyone should know if only AT&T will get it or if all networks will get it, it should be the CEO of one of those networks.

    John isn’t in the dark like we all are. So in my eyes this is true. Not that it really matters anyway… Unless they were somehow going to make a phone that does what Android can’t do on other carriers, this won’t matter. This won’t be another iPhone moment.

    • BlackJu

      You will likely see premium, reduced price, or exclusive access to amazon services. My guess is that all data consumed using amazon services will be subsidized by Amazon. That would get peoples attention.

  • Travis McPherson

    My Last post looks weird and isn’t as clear as I wanted it to be.

    Basically John is implying that Amazon did talk to T-mobile about their phone.


  • T-Fail

    You missed the more interesting tweet where he says big att plus bigger Amazon means less choice. Ironic considering he’s joining small and smaller with sprint. He’s a big phony.

    • Legere Hates You

      His exact tweet “When #big (@ATT) and #bigger (@Amazon) get together, the industry feels a whole lot smaller.”

      Kinda like merging with Sprint, no? That’s #fruckedup

      • superg05

        you should tweet that

  • BlackJu

    I think he has it backwards BTW. ATT was cursed by Facebook. ATT knows that they are taking a risk, and that not every exclusive will be a hit. They’ve openly acknowledged that. This is a story about Legere being on the losing end of a device deal.

  • mingkee

    Frankly, I have 0 interest on Amazon/Kindle/Fire phone after all.
    The next phone should be Xperia Z2 Ultra or LG G3.

  • Deadeye37

    Sure, sell the phone to only about a third of the mobile phone users in the US. I don’t see droves of people leaving their current carrier to jump onto AT&T just for the Prime Phone. Can’t wait to see that idea die a quick death.

  • gigis83

    Love it but let’s see if it’s enough to att customers and gain some

  • 1RealityCheck

    But as other blogs have reported, Tmobile has its own exclusives. Legere is just a media hog looking for headlines as usual. But lets wait for an announcement first. If it is an exclusive, it doesnt seem to make sense but lets wait for the details. Amazon customers are price sensitive so wait and see for what is announced. He’s also probably trying to remind people that Tmobile is having its own announcement tomorrow since most of the media will be focused on Amazon

    • Cam Bunton

      This is true. Xperia Z1s and LG L90 and that budget QWERTY-equipped LG device.

  • bob90210

    We won’t know for certain until tomorrow but I doubt the Amazon phone will be a fancy phone running on AT&T. Amazon sells everything, physical and digital; phones, service, music, movies, books. Phones will be way people people access much of the content in the future so if Amazon does not have a say in the delivery mechanism they risk be shut out by Google and Apple (which have competing services). So it seems like Amazon will create a phone that will have access to their shopping (of course) but more importantly have their movies and music integrated. The cellular service will be part of Amazon Prime or an add-on. That way they can have features like unlimited music and music delivered via LTE.

    This will not be just another phone; it will be an Amazon phone with the integrated services.

  • galaxy maniac

    Sore loser. Whatever he says ATT makes a ton of money.

    • Adrayven

      Smartphone market is fickle.. I’m thinking not…

    • Paul

      Yeah, the only issue is that most of AT&T’s customer base uses iPhones. Apple is releasing one soon so Amazon will be kicking itself later this year.

    • Aaron Davis

      at&t most likely paid amazon for the deal. So at&t is actually losing money in the short-term, for a long-term profit than might never materialize.

  • vinnyjr

    To give any Carrier exclusive rights on a new device is stupid. This phone needs as much support from as many Carriers it can get. Anything less he is listening to the wrong people.

  • FILA

    HTC Myst aka First was a great phone. Forget the FB home shit, it was a stock HTC phone. Its to bad they never updated it.

  • Nearmsp

    good one from John!

  • I don’t buy into Amazon’s “Android” ecosystem anyway. I can get more from the real Android experience. This phone is rumored to have some interesting tricks up its sleeves but I don’t think it’s enough for most people to make a switch to Amazon when they can’t bring the apps, books and movies they already own from Google over with them. However, if people want to buy content from Amazon on the official Android platform, they can. Amazon Prime is the only exception I can see.

    • kalel33

      That’s not really true. You can transfer any movie, book(using Calibre), or app over to a Kindle device. On the app side you can side load the apps. I know because I have a Kindle HDX 8.9.

      • That’s cool to know. Although, most regular customers won’t know that or be willing to go through the trouble to even research how to do that. I know so many people who are clueless about these things.

        • kalel33

          I would say 95% of people would never attempt it but it’s there for geeks like me. If you’re really geeky then you can install the Google Play store on the Kindle and get everything. You have to root and sideload. I haven’t gone that far, because I use far less apps on a tablet than I do my phone.

  • yeah the Amazon App Store is quite disappointing beyond the free app per day thing .. updates to apps aren’t timely at all .. so i’m not on board with any Amazon Phone exclusive or not.

  • Mike

    I hope Amazon does not do an AT&T exclusive deal. It doesn’t make sense to begin with – the world’s most customer centric company (as coined by Amazon and Bezos himself) to work with one of the least. Again, doesn’t make sense. If it happens and is announced as rumored, this guy will shake his head with sadness and continue without…

  • Chad D

    Isn’t the Kindle an att exclusive? I’m sure it will be the same, sold online with att bands.

    • Phil

      No, it’s Verizon and ATT.

  • Cruz R.

    I’m glad this is happening. Because if it fails miserably. Maybe this can hint carriers to know. That one in a million, is not every exclusive device. And to let phone makers know that one carrier is not more profits then as many carriers. I’m just saying…

  • GinaDee

    Sounds like sour grapes on Legere’s part.

    Even though the phone appears mid range it’s going to be pushed by Amazon huge online marketing channels using an exclusive data plan through AT&T.

    This could be a boon for AT&T provided the iPhone does not drown it out come this September.

    • kalel33

      Just seen it on a live blog and it’s definitely not “mid-range” components.

    • $15454173

      having seen the specs I am not sure if it is what I would call mid range.

  • Paul

    Seeing as this device isn’t offering anything market moving I think this is a terrible move. If the phone can project a 3D hologram then it would be revolutionary, but I doubt that’s what it can do. Otherwise, I’m not seeing anything that would suggest it can handle a carrier exclusive. I think this will be a poor move by Amazon and they will be regretting it before the end of the year.

    I agree they should have gone with the Galaxy phone model and sold it for every carrier through Amazon. I’m not interested in the device, but you’re not going to push as many units through a single carrier. That’s just basic business.

  • Medion

    Like others have said below, this seems like sour grapes. I generally like the character that Legere is playing, but he’s not winning any points with this one. He made several tweets on the Amazon phone, but the article here is only showing the one that shows him in the best light. His other tweets make him look off his rocker.

    • Aaron Davis

      He is off his rocker, but I have no problem with that as long as he keeps improving the network and shoving his competitor’s faces in their own greed

      Better a crazy saint, than a sane sinner

  • Randall Lind

    It is not an samsung galaxy s5 so who cares. People can watch Prime videos on their phone so what? I don’t use my phone to watch movies or TV shows

    • kalel33

      They definitely came out with some novel ways to use your phone, beyond the “never use” features of Samsung.

  • TheNeuge

    Confirmed. Ralph de la Vega on stage now at Fire Phone announcement.

  • kalel33

    Wow! I thought it’d be priced about the same as the Nexus devices but I was wrong. Their next pricing has it as $27 a month for 24 months, or $648. That’s too high for a Kindle device, no matter how decent the phone is.

    • BlackJu

      I think the new pricing model is start it high and see how many early adopters bite. I’d imagine this will come down pretty quick. Don’t forget a year of prime is in that price.

      • kalel33

        The phone should have been $400, considering the prices of the Nexus 5 and when OnePlus actually sells their phones. The Firephone already takes a hit with the lack of Google Play store. Their Amazon App store is still better than Windows app store but way behind Google Play. Also, how do you do turn by turn GPS and if you’re already with Android then how does Gmail work?

        • thepanttherlady

          I was interested in this until I saw the price tag. I’ll stick to my Z2 and the One from OnePlus.

        • BlackJu

          Dude, I don’t know. What I do know is that there are amazon fanatics who will pay this. Once every fanatic has one, they will lower the price.

  • notyourbusiness

    I have zero interest in this Amazon phone, but he’s right. Why does AT&T always have to get its grubby paws on everything? First the iPhone, more recently many of the top Windows Phones (including the Nokia Lumia 925 that was SUPPOSED to be a US exclusive to T-Mobile), now this? -_-

    • $15454173

      Well, maybe instead of Legere always knocking AT&T it would be refreshing to see him do something about that.

      • notyourbusiness

        What exactly can he do? Manufacturers are the ones who strike up these exclusive deals with AT&T or whatever carrier. It’s not like anything he says to Amazon will result in them providing the phone to T-Mo or any other carrier to carry since they’ve already obviously contracted a deal with AT&T.

        • $15454173

          He can continue to improve T-Mobile.

        • notyourbusiness

          And what does that have to do with the Amazon phone? But you can bet that he will.

        • $15454173

          Oh well. On to the nxt thread, gotta run….

        • notyourbusiness

          So, you quoted the first few words of the first sentence of my original comment. You don’t make any sense.

        • Yes, T-Mobile was the first for both. T-Mobile sold the G-1, and the HTC Dash, HTC Shadow 1 & 2. I had all three when I was a sales rep for a T-Mobile Corp store.No other carrier got into the Android game till AFTER the MyTouch and Nexus. T-Mobile when out on a limb with Android and Windows,how soon they forget.Even the Moto Cliq was Motorola’s first Android phone that we pushed. Now look,all Moto’s decent phones go to Verizon. And what was supposed to be a really good T-Mo Windows phone(Nokia 925)went to AT&T.Very irritating.

        • BlackJu

          I think you are mistaken. They’re is no way in hell amazon went to ATT and said, “we only want you to sell our phone.”. No, every carrier offers incentives such as marketing support or subsidy. Amazon in this case is in a position of weakness. Of course, the number of subscribers is a key factor as well. T mobile can’t win this game plain and simple. ATT is well known for taking chances with devices such as the iPhone, Windows phone, and now this to name a few. That’s where they put their money while T-Mobile spends to bring their network up to par.

        • notyourbusiness

          Wasn’t T-Mobile the first to carry Android phones and Windows Mobile (not the Windows Phone of current)?

      • Spanky

        Legere needs to do something about coverage and building penetration in order to really impact AT&T. Until then, he’s all bark, no bite.

        • Aaron Davis

          He IS doing something about it.

          It’s not like Verizon built their entire nationwide network in a single year. It takes months to fine-tune even a single metropolitan area (I was part of the t-mobile HSPA+ rollout in Minneapolis)

          Every antenna on every tower (3 or 4 per tower) has to be separately aimed for maximum coverage, without interfering with other nearby towers on the same frequency.

          Because of the interference problem, if you add a new frequency to an existing tower (like the 700mhz spectrum that tmobile bought a while back) you have to re-tune every single antenna all over again from scratch.

          T-mobile has done more network upgrades in a shorter period of time than any other carrier, ever.

  • Mike

    As an Amazon employee with an absolute disdain for AT&T, I am very much upset and in John’s camp on this decision to go with AT&T Exclusivity.

    • dtam

      don’t be upset. these things aren’t going to sell. $199 on contract? no one in their right mind would go for that over and iphone/flagship android

      • $199 on contract? Hahahaha People are going to hold out for the iPhone 6 instead. That’s too funny. Aww,Amazon thought they had something awesome..How cute…lol

    • kalel33

      You can still buy the phone direct…..for $650! That’s what is going to kill this phone. They never brought up anything about what they plan for customers to do with turn by turn GPS either and it’s the only high end priced phone without an assistant(Google Now, Cortana, Siri).

      • guidomus_maximus

        Last year’s processor, with a screen from 2 years ago, at today’s premium price. Plus it is shoehorned into Amazon. Now I understand the exclusive. Probably the only way ATT thought they could sell it.

        • BlackJu

          I’m pretty sure the spec obsessed are not who they are going after.

  • Paul Garrison

    This phone is DOA.

  • DaveTexan

    As a frequent shopper on AMZN and owner of a Kindle Fire HD, I think TMO has nothing to worry about. When I saw the price I thought it was $199 without a contract, but then the “with 2 year contract” kills the deal. I can get LG G2 from TMO no contract for $398 or if I really wanted to do the contract thing I’d get G2 or even certified Note 3 from ATT for $0.
    Either way the phone is just really overpriced for its specs. It’s a surprise to me since Kindle Fire HD and HDX are all very nice devices even though they are a bit lacking on software side. (no Google services.) It’s a DOA even though AMZN tries to pump it with free 1yr Prime and a free headset.

  • Corey

    Amazon is listing the ability to pre-order the Fire Phone w/o a contract with ATT for six-fitty. Anyone know if the Fire works on all of TMO’s frequencies? If it does, then especially since TMO has seperated the phone buy from the service buy, TMO peeps can still get a Fire on the best network and avoid the Death Star. Just need a TMO SIM.

    • DaveTexan

      One key strength of the Fire phone is LTE support on 9 bands: ” 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20″ TMO uses band 4 so it should work assuming the phone is unlocked. However, $650 is a very steep price…..
      *UPDATE* Just checked, indeed if you pay $650 the phone will come unlocked. So yes you can use the fire phone on TMO if you are willing to pay the price. The AT&T deal is not that great. It’s either $559 total or $799 total due to the loss of BYOD/Next discount. AMZN is really only using AT&T as a partner to help finance the phone. Still a very expensive phone…

      • Corey

        Unfortunetly any TMO geek fan knows that you need their 2G 3G 4G coverage for out in the sticks. So thanks for the info on LTE bands but what about the rest of it?

        • JBrowne1012

          Yup 1700/2100 listed as weell

  • JBrowne1012

    Okay so its a AT&T Pre-order however this device is capable with all of T-mobiles Bands LTE and HSPA+ what sucks this is wayyyy over price however you also get unlimited cloud storage and 1 year of Prime and all of those benefits which kinda makes up a bit because the onboard storage is no less than 32gb’s from the getgo and then being able to have all the storage in the world to store movies and pictures is valuable.

    • DaveTexan

      The catch is the unlimited storage is limited to Amazon contents and photos taken with the phone….

  • Mike

    You really gotta want this phone to pay $650 and have limited apps and constant advertising from Amazon. I like so many of you think the Amazon phone is way over priced! For the $650 you could get a top of the line phone (android /iOS)

  • HothTron


  • Corey

    I suspect that after the loaded technology fiends cough up the premium price to have the latest new tech toy, that Amazon will have a FIRE sale on the product in a few months… (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

  • Chris Dooley

    Wow… I really hope the exclusivity is short lived its and interesting that Amazon is stupid enough to introduce yet another new user interface that cellular retail employees will undoubtedly despise and push iwhatevers and galaxies as they already are. Amazon learn a lesson from Samsung who is toning down their UI and that is stock android is fine and you only hurt your customers by designing yet another UI that they don’t want or care to learn to use. Could have been a great phone o well I will wait till its rooted with stock android to see how well it actually works.