Amazon mulls smartphone plans

First the Kindle, then the tablet, and now the Amazon smartphone?
Darren Allan

November 19, 2011
Amazon Logo

Things are moving fast at Amazon at the moment.

The online retail giant appears to have set its sights firmly on the hardware world, with its own branded products pushing its shopping experience – and cloud based storage/music service – at the consuming public.

First the company brought out the Kindle, and now we’ve had the Kindle Fire emerge this week, at least in the States – Amazon’s low cost shot at pulling some of the slate rug from under the iPad’s feet.

One which analysts are predicting will have an impact on the average consumer, who isn’t so bothered how many cameras their tablet has, or indeed whether it has any at all. Not if it only costs a couple of hundred bucks.

And now the rumour mill has it that Amazon’s next move is to bring out a smartphone.

The firm is at least exploring the possibility according to a report on Reuters, which cites Citigroup’s manufacturing chain sources in the far east.

Reportedly Amazon is thinking along the lines of a Texas Instruments processor, and a mid-range device probably pitched around the $200 mark, or possibly a little more expensive than the Fire.

Foxconn is allegedly partnering up with Amazon to develop the phone.

Citigroup sees the move as a logical one for Amazon, using a similar tactic to the Fire and keeping costs low, perhaps even making a loss on each unit, to spur on sales.

We’re not quite so sure – after all, subsidising the Fire tablet has cost Amazon considerably, and exactly how much hardware can they afford to subsidise?

Even if the coffers are deep enough to keep the price low, in the smartphone arena there are already some pretty tempting truly budget offers. That’s not really true of tablets, where the budget offerings are distinctly ropey, and Amazon could offer something more in terms of quality.

Still, we shall see – it certainly seems as if Amazon has serious ambitions to extend its influence into multiple technology spheres, a bit like a certain other company. What’s next – Amazon’s own social network?


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