Amazon’s announcement of details of its Amazon Fire Phone on June 18 promises to disrupt not only the economics of the smartphone industry, but also the use of cloud computing for backup and archival purposes more generally. In Wednesday’s unveiling of Amazon’s first phone, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos noted that the Amazon Fire Phone will offer unlimited, cloud-based photo storage for pictures taken from the phone’s 13 MP camera. As noted by MG Siegler, the Amazon Fire Phone’s offer of unlimited photo storage outstrips its contemporaries because Apple’s iPhone cloud storage limits are capped in conjunction with a customer’s limits on iCloud. Whereas Android offers unlimited photo uploads to Google+, it does so at lower resolutions than that of the original image. Third party application Flickr offers 1 TB of photo storage, but has yet to be integrated with the out of the box phone technology.
With the release of its first phone, Amazon throws down the gauntlet to other cloud providers to offer unlimited cloud-based photo storage and implicitly heralds the day when cloud vendors will offer unlimited backup and archival services for a range of file types in addition to photographs. For example, the industry should expect personal storage platforms such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive to continue expanding the allotment of free storage and ultimately offer either unlimited storage, or more likely, 1 TB of free storage to consumers, particularly as cloud infrastructure prices continue to fall in conjunction with Moore’s law. In the short term, however, customers should expect Apple to raise the free limits on its iCloud platform in response to the Amazon Fire Phone.