Michael Hageloh Deems Amazon Fire Phone a Non-Event

Former Apple executive Michael Hageloh says the company won’t worry over the just-announced Amazon smartphone.

While it was perhaps inevitable that Amazon might one day develop its own smartphone—complementing its lineup of tablets and e-readers—the initial response to the Fire Phone has been muted. Following the unveiling of the new Amazon product, many tech analysts agreed that the product simply won’t be disruptive enough to steal market share away from Amazon competitors—Apple foremost among them. Now, in a new statement to the press, Apple veteran Michael Hageloh explains why the Amazon Fire Phone is ultimately a non-event.

“Whatever happened to doing something original with your product line?” Hageloh asks, in his press statement. “There is simply nothing new or distinct about what Amazon is offering—unless you count a phone that comes packaged with a Prime membership as unique. Certainly, it’s a far cry from the level of creativity that companies like Apple have brought to their products over the years. Even Adobe is innovating with Creative Cloud, and that’s not saying much.”

Hageloh expounds on the differences between Apple, Amazon, and the other key players in the tech ecosystem. “Apple—and I would put Google into this category, as well—understands that content comes first. Content is king, so their devices are built around the notion of delivering exemplary content. All of these other companies, including Amazon.com, take a ‘me too’ approach—mimicking the hardware but failing to offer any opportunities for a unique content experience. That’s why Apple has ultimately never cared much about what any of its competitors have been doing in this sphere.”

There are other problems with the Fire Phone, as well. “Android and iOS products have huge distribution networks, whereas Amazon’s device will only be available from AT&T, at least initially—which is a drawback,” Hageloh says.

The bottom line, for Hageloh, is that Amazon’s products simply can’t compete with Apple’s in terms of frictionless content delivery and the Mac’s superior content creation abilities. “Nobody ever switches from the Kindle to the iPad and then goes back,” he says. “I see no reason why anyone would switch from the iPhone to the Fire Phone, period. No reason at all.”

Still, Hageloh suggests that this will not stop Amazon from declaring its product to be a success. “We have no idea how many Kindles are actually sold, because Amazon doesn’t tell us,” he says. “I predict that, with the Fire Phone, Amazon will once again keep its sales figures a secret. They’ll build 100 of the things so they can declare the product to be ‘sold out’ within a day, but that won’t really tell us anything about the popularity of the product.”

More information about Michael Hageloh is available at his personal website, www.hageloh.com.


Serving as director of special projects focused on the sales education initiative at the University of South Florida, Michael Hageloh is a proven sales executive with more than 20 years of experience.

Much of that experience is with Apple Inc., where he began in the company’s education division in 1988. Hageloh moved into a crucial role within Apple’s sales organization. In that role, he developed a vertical education selling strategy and forged relationships with thought leaders, policymakers, and other influencers in the education and technology spheres. He also acquired experience in a key academic sales role at Adobe, where he facilitated, along with French banking and financial services firm Société Générale, a unique single licensing transaction valued at $11.7 million. Overall, Hageloh delivered close to a billion dollars in revenue during the course of his career.

Hageloh is the creator of the Rhythm-Selling System.  He’s a high-spirited author, a beat-ahead thinker, and a charismatic authentic talker. Hageloh can be contacted online via his website, www.hageloh.com, his Facebook page, and on Twitter.

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