Amazon: More Cell Power

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 20, 2006

Amazon.com has just made another step toward becoming the world’s larest seller of cell phone devices and plans. On April 20, the company announced an agreement to market offerings from InPhonic, the No. 1 online seller of cell phone plans, on its site.

The significance: With InPhonic’s help, Amazon will start selling popular family plans. Up till now, Amazon, which has sold wireless plans since November of 2000, has not offered these. InPhonic should also broaden Amazon’s selection of pre-paid plans and accessories. With this announcement, Amazon will, in effect, have everything and more than what other online wireless retailers offer.

InPhonic will also integrate a bunch of its tools, allowing shoppers to compare various carriers’ cellular plans, into Amazon’s Web site. The Amazon-InPhonic partnership, in the works for two years, will debut in the fall. And I believe it could go a long way in boosting Amazon’s wireless sales.

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Reader Comments

Jake

April 20, 2006 09:29 AM

While I think this is a decent move for InPhonic, Amazon has an uphill battle against InPhonic's horrendous customer service record. Below quoted from: http://www.dc.bbb.org/report.html?national=Y&compid=23004111

BBB Membership Issues
In November, 2005 this company's membership in the BBB was revoked by the Board of Directors of the Better Business Bureau due to failure to maintain the principles and standards required for membership.
Customer Experience
Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to unanswered complaint(s).
Customer Complaint Data
Number of complaints processed by the BBB over the last 36 months: 1920
Number of complaints processed by the BBB in the last 12 months: 939

Joan

April 25, 2006 04:25 PM

Nah, I disagree with Jake. I think Amazon has a ton to gain. Even though Amazon is a better known name than InPhonic, the fact is that InPhonic is a far, far bigger wireless retailer than Amazon. The number of complaints are proportionate with how much bigger InPhonic is than Amazon; Amazon has it's share of complaints in the wireless phones vertical -- The increase in selection, as well as the family plans thing, together with automatic activations is going to be a huge boon for Amazon's cell phone volume.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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