5 Rumored Industries That Amazon Might Break Into Soon
The Rumor Mill
After an internet giant scoops up a supermarket chain, there's no telling what industry the company may have set its sights on dominating next. Amazon in recent years has surprised those inside and outside the tech industry with its rapid growth across several markets, including cloud services, while staying strong within its e-commerce roots.
From artificial intelligence to health care, here are five industries and services that Amazon is rumored to be about to disrupt.
Earlier in February, Amazon was reported to be considering making its own AI chips for its smart devices, specifically its Echo speaker ,which is powered by its Alexa voice-controlled personal assistant technology.
A move into the custom AI hardware space would help Amazon better compete against Apple and Google, which already are building their own custom AI chips for their respective smart speakers, HomePod and Home.
Speculation began swirling at the end of 2017 that Amazon might be trying to break into banking, much to the chagrin of many in the financial industry.
Analysts have predicted that Amazon could throw its hat into the ring as a contender by acquiring a small or midsize bank in 2018. The internet giant already has doled out more than $3 billion in small-business loans to more than 20,000 merchants on its e-commerce platform, according to Bloomberg.
No stranger to the shipping and delivery process, recent media reports have suggested that Amazon is looking to launch its own delivery service this spring.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that the new service is being dubbed Shipping With Amazon, or SWA. The service would allow Amazon to make pickups from third-party merchants selling on its e-commerce platform, and then Amazon would either directly deliver goods straight to the buyer, or hand off the deliveries to UPS, FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service, the entities that are delivering Amazon goods today. According to reports, the service would be piloted in Los Angeles.
In an attempt to seemingly disrupt the current health-care game, in January Amazon revealed plans to partner with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to slash health-care costs and improve services for U.S.-based employees.
The companies said the new, independent entity would rely on technology and transparency, although initial details around how the "not-for-profit" entity would drive down increasing health-care costs have been scarce. Industry pundits have opined that telemedicine technology might play a critical role in the new system, and that pharmacies might also be cut out of the equation in favor of online dispensaries.
TV is an area that may have been over before it ever began for Amazon. The company was rumored to be working on launching a bundled TV service that was expected to include both broadcast and basic cable networks and could have competed with Hulu and Sling's live TV option. According to Reuters, however, Amazon nixed plans for its live TV service in November because the industry giant felt that it couldn't make enough profit off the service.
Amazon currently offers Prime Video, its streaming video service, but the company may still be trying to set the stage for live programming via a series of small changes. In January, Amazon added live TV guides to its Fire TV, but the channel guides are so far limited to HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax, and can only be accessed if users are subscribed through Amazon Channels, a service within Prime Video.