Amazon has added two new smartphones — the Alcatel A30 and Moto G5 Plus — to its roster of Prime Exclusive Phones, a program that offers discounts on brand-name unlocked mobile devices featuring ads and product recommendations on their lockscreens.
The Alcatel A30 is the first phone from the French supplier to be listed on the Prime Exclusive list. It’s now available for pre-order at $59.99 for Prime members, $40 off the full retail price. Motorola’s new Moto G5 Plus is the device maker’s third phone in the exclusive program. Pre-order pricing starts at $184.99 for Prime members — about $45 off the full retail price.
Amazon launched Prime Exclusive Phones last year, starting with devices from Motorola. The e-commerce giant said the program has exceeded expectations, and the BLU R1 HD and Moto G4 remain the No. 1 and No. 2 best-selling unlocked phones on Amazon since they launched.
Alcatel becomes the first mobile phone maker other than Motorola to have one of its smartphones featured in the Prime Exclusive Phones program. Amazon kicked off the program in June of last year with the Motorola BLU R1 HD, and added the Moto G4 Play last September. So it's not too surprising to see another member of the Moto G family added to the program, especially if sales have been strong.
Alcatel's A30 is an interesting addition to the program. Alcatel claims to be one of the top five smartphone makers in the North America market, though its recent press materials don't make it clear who did the math. Alcatel smartphones also are not made, as some might think, by the globally-known tech brand Alcatel-Lucent, which is based in France, but by China's TCL Communication, which uses the Alcatel brand under agreement between the two companies.
Alcatel is an up-and-comer in the smartphone market, according to many reports in the last two years, though the battle for market share continues to be more of a two-horse race between Apple and Samsung. Neither Motorola nor Alcatel had a smartphone model among the top 10 in sales during the fourth quarter of 2016, and ultimately both are fighting with a handful of other players for market scraps.
This probably makes Amazon a great partner for both companies, as both are looking for a market lift, and the exposure of a special offer through Amazon's Prime membership program, which now may have as many as 65 million members worldwide, can't be beat. Both Alcatel and Motorola also have been aggressive offering several unlocked phones to attract more business, making them a good fit for the program.
Amazon, a company that doesn't fail often, certainly failed in its attempt to brand its own line of smartphone, and has decided instead to try to punish the mobile phone market by working with some of the market's underdogs to undercut smartphone pricing typically found elsewhere. It probably needs more than two supplier partners and four phones total to really have an impact, but the way things are going, don't be surprised if we see more partners and more smartphones in the coming months.