- Amazon is again offering Prime members a sharp discount on a new, unlocked smartphone: The newly launched Moto G Play, priced at $99.99 — a $50 discount made possible by personalized Amazon ads and promotions displayed on the Android device’s lockscreen.
- The new promotion follows three months after Amazon offered Motorola’s Blu’s new R1 HD to Prime members at $50 off its $99.99 suggested retail price as well as the Moto G at $149.99, $50.00 off its $199.99 suggested price, thanks to similar lockscreen promotions. Amazon customers can tap their smartphone to learn more about a deal or product recommendation, or unlock the device to dismiss it.
- The Moto G Play is available for shipping starting Sept. 15, and features a five-inch HD display, a quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM and 4G LTE speed. Because it's unlocked, it's compatible with all major carriers.
Amazon is using the same practice it has used to sell Fire tablets on smartphones: Buy it at full price, or buy it at a big discount if you're open to personalized ads, deals, product recommendations and other promotions every time you reach the phone's lockscreen.
This is a smart move, and you can expect Amazon to continue expanding on it every chance the e-commerce giant gets. Amazon clearly knows its own customers, and that one of the big reason they shop at Amazon is to get great deals.
So why not get a phone for $50 cheaper than everywhere else? There is no requirement to click through the ads, or to buy a certain amount of merchandise advertised to get the savings on the phone. All you do when you reach the lockscreen ad is swipe it away if you want no further information. The exchange of savings fro ads is working — Amazon says the Prime-exclusive unlocked phones are now its best selling unlocked phones, and that unlocked phones are its fastest growing segment within the cell phone category.
It's a strong marketing move on a product that also seems tailor-made to appear on Amazon's virtual store shelves because unlocked smartphones are favored by consumers who don't want to be captive to one carrier, and who don't even want to buy their devices from a traditional carrier. The best thing Amazon can do to follow up the Moto G Play offering is to keep adding more unlocked phones from more manufacturers. As phone makers learn how well these phones are selling on Amazon, it shouldn't have a problem finding more device partners.