Amazon: We're not launching a smartphone this year, and it won't be free either

Amazon: We're not launching a smartphone this year, and it won't be free either

Summary: Amazon might still release its own smartphone, but it's stamped out suggestions the device will be out before the end of 2013.

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Amazon app store: Launchpad for mobile dominance

Amazon app store: Launchpad for mobile dominance

Amazon is readying its app store for the grand opening, and I believe launching its own store makes perfect sense for the online retailer. It fits in perfectly with the company's core business.

Amazon has refuted a report claiming it was planning to release a smartphone this year that would be given away for free.

On Sunday, the Seattle-based company issued a statement denying claims in a report last Friday that it was considering launching a smartphone later this year at zero cost to the consumer. While phones are typically given away to consumers taking out a one- or two-year contract with a mobile provider, the report said Amazon had no plans to charge for the device whether or not the user signed up for a mobile plan

The report suggested that the free phone could be linked in some way to Amazon's content services such as Amazon Prime, which would figure into the deal, but the details of the plan were still being worked out.

According to the report, Amazon's supposed free strategy hinged on working out financial details with hardware partners, and while it had talked with operators about selling its phone, it was expected to sell them directly through its own website — similar to its forked Android Kindle Fire tablet.

Amazon, however, has denied it has a free device in the works, but has left the door open to making a phone at some point later on. "We have no plans to offer a phone this year, and if we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free," Amazon said in a statement to ZDNet.

Amazon's denial follows persistent rumours over the past few years that it has been gearing up to launch its own smartphone, the latest being that it is building a phone with a 3D display.

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Topics: Amazon, Mobility, Smartphones

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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2 comments
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  • So?

    If they aren't launching it, then why is it not free? Grin.
    rphunter42
  • The Saga Continues:

    In a later bulletin Amazon stated they will also not be giving away donut holes, buckets of air and free copies of the book "A History of Saudi Arabia's Olympic Downhill Skiing Champions. :)
    stillgolfing