Take that Amazon! Chinese e-tailer Jingdong launches its own JDPhone smartphone program, eyes MVNO
Amazon has been trying to figure out how to do Kindle smartphone for years now. Some patent applications show that Jeff Bezos has been toying with the idea of customized Amazon Phone in 2008. It’s been 5 years now, and we still haven’t heard anything official from them.
Now one of Amazon’s main competitors in China – Jingdong, thinks it has cracked a smartphone formula and is launching its own JDPhone program next week. They also have plans for own MVNO in the near future.
Jingdong VP Wang Xiaosong says that they have been selling smartphones for 7 years now, and already moved 30 million of them. This gives Jingdong a good insight on what customers expect from their smartphones, and what they do not like about them. They now decided to use that data to corner high volume 1000-2000 Yuan market in cooperation with smartphone OEMs.
According to Wang Xiaosong, most of cheap smartphone owners are unhappy with their experience today. They buy a new phone with low powered CPU and 512MB of RAM, and suffer through laggy response; low resolution makes big smartphone displays are pointless, most pictures taken with them are unviewable, etc;.
Jingdong will use the data about customer preferences, and share it with OEMs through JDPhone program. Smartphone vendor gets a list of minimum specs for a certain price tier, and then gets preferential placement and promotion as JDPhone to e-tailer’s 100 million customers.
Right now JDPhone between 1500-2000 Yuan ($245-328) should come with 3G connectivity, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 5” 1080p display, 13 megapixel main and 5 megapixel front camera. Snapdragon 600 CPU and 4.5” 720p display is enough for a 1000-1500 Yuan ($164-245) handset. The first JDPhones will be ZTE’s Nubia Z5S and Z5S mini, launched yesterday. But Jingdong says handsets from 4 more Chinese OEMs are on the way.
Jingdong has also applied for MVNO license to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. They plan to use the data on 100 million registered customers to check their credit score, and will offer subsidized JDPhones with zero upfront payments.