For its Fire Phone unveiling this past week, Amazon brought in some of its most faithful customers from around the country, selected via an online submission process.

As it turns out, they didn’t just attend the launch event — they also got some face time with Jeff Bezos afterward, leading to one funny encounter involving an Amazon customer’s iPhone.

Here’s the story: After the unveiling in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, the company took all the customers back to the Brave Horse Tavern in the midst of Amazon’s South Lake Union campus, for a catered lunch and drinks. At one point during the lunch, Bezos came in and started circulating through the room, shaking customers’ hands, talking with each of them directly, taking pictures and signing whatever they asked him to sign.

As the Amazon CEO approached customer Christie Angino’s table, she and several others around her decided that they would ask him to sign their iPhones and Android phones — the very devices that Amazon’s new Fire Phone will be competing against.

“You could see him pause for a moment with the Sharpie in hand, thinking and deciding what to write on the phone,” Angino recalls.

Here’s what he wrote …


Fast thinking, and funny stuff.

Angino, who lives in Seattle, says she came away very impressed with the entire experience.

“The bus ride over was mysterious and we talked about the Willy Wonkaesque-ness about it,” she writes via email. “Especially since once we got there it smelled like chocolate since it was next to Theo Chocolates. … People were from North Carolina, Texas, Michigan, Alaska, all over.  And there was one cute elderly couple who had an Amazon account in both their names, that got to come together.”

She was also impressed with how Bezos handled himself at the lunch afterward.

“It was evident that he was going to give each of us a moment to say hello and really ensure we knew he appreciated each and every one of us,” she says. “So it was an excited, but calm atmosphere. He did not give a speech to us, and was not introduced formally, he just walked in and came to each table and looked each of us in the eye and said hello and thank you. I was surprised actually at how sincere it really felt.”

Many of the customers forged quick friendships, she says, and came away from the day feeling motivated to be ambassadors for the Amazon brand.

And as a bonus, Angino also walked away with a unique souvenir.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • lrd555

    Upgrade time? Wouldn’t it be a downgrade? Who’s Bozo kidding?

    • dudereally?

      No its an upgrade, older iphones has worse hardware and it has similar specs to the S5. Its resolution is the worst part of it. It actually a decent flagship.

      • Mark Graban

        Phones aren’t all about “specs” – it’s about the overall stability, usability, and user experience. Many technologically superior phones have failedin the market.

      • AaronD12

        Except that the S5 doesn’t have a 64-bit processor and the iPhone 5S does.

  • veggiedude

    This Amazon phone is the first phone in the world designed with priority number one to squeeze as much money out of the customer as is possible. Put that into the Guiness Book.

    • Stephen Medawar

      I envy your idealism. Google, Apple, and Amazon are businesses. All phones are built for maximizing revenue. That’s what businesses do.

  • guest

    To a world of 2nd rate apps. Upgrade?

  • Guest

    With just a few seconds and a few pennies of ink, @JeffBezos has gained even more publicity for #FirePhone. Well done @Amazon! #marketingwin

  • Alexis

    Good thing sharpie ink wipes off the back of an iPhone fairly easily.

  • Mark MacKay

    If you touch the hem of his garment you get an extra 10% off each shipment.

Job Listings on GeekWork