Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

Summary: Now that the Kindle Fire is available, Amazon reportedly has its sights set on the smartphone market.

SHARE:

Amazon is evolving into a full-fledged mobile device maker if the following report is accurate.

Citigroup Investment Research has published a memo that reveals that the mega online retailer is planning to launch a smartphone by the end of 2012. Here's an excerpt via Barron's:

We believe FIH is now jointly developing the phone with Amazon. However, we believe that Amazon will pay non-recurring engineering fees to FIH, but the device and multiple components will actually be manufactured by Hon Hai’s TMS business group (the same business group that makes Amazon’s e-reader and the 8.9-inch Amazon tablet.) We believe the smartphone will adopt Texas Instrument’s OMAP 4 processor and is very likely to adopt Qualcomm’s dual mode 6-series standalone baseband given Qualcomm has been a longtime baseband supplier for Amazon’s e-reader.

At first, it's easy to ask why does Amazon even want to make a smartphone? What purpose could it fulfill in line with its ecosystem? The Kindle Fire tablet was more of an extension of its e-book reader series, but a smartphone is a different animal altogether.

However, the smartphone could serve to promote other Amazon products, such as its digital music service and other cloud solutions. There's also a chance that the smartphone would serve as a companion to the Kindle Fire -- hopefully more effectively than the BlackBerry PlayBook or the HP TouchPad were supposed to do with BlackBerry handhelds and HP Pre phone respectively.

Yet that really depends on how Amazon builds the smartphone. The Kindle Fire is Android-based, but same might not be said about the smartphone. AllThingsD reports that the memo was not clear on this issue.

Related:

Topics: Amazon, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

11 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

    I think it's a pretty safe bet the smartphone will be Android based. They'd be stupid not to, considering they already have their own Android App Store.

    This could also be to promote their Amazon mobile service, though I've never bought service through them myself (Amazon's fault, not mine. They're weren't set up to handle security deposits for bad/no credit. Apparently never owing people money is a bad thing)
    Aerowind
  • RE: Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

    http://s.bcn.cc\420
    sdgryf
  • RE: Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

    I don't think this rumor/report will pan out. Amazon had something to gain by entering the tablet market; it becomes the source of content. Amazon can't do the same thing with a phone - there's still going to be a carrier in the middle. I don't see the benefit Amazon gains from building a phone themselves rather than partnering with already-well-entrenched phone manufacturers and/or carriers.
    jgm@...
    • RE: Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

      @jgm@... <br><br>I'm scratching my head as well. Not sure how Amazon would benefit. With that said, I wouldn't mind grabbing an Amazon phone if the specs were good enough and the price was right.
      admiraljkb
  • Android Enables Specialization

    Given that there are already Android phones for Facebook fans, how about ones oriented to bookworms? I don't know what sort of features such a phone should have, but no doubt a seasoned publisher like Amazon could think of a few ideas.

    Android makes this sort of specialization possible. Not all the ideas will succeed, but some of them will. Whereas on competing platforms, you can't even begin to try out such things.
    ldo17
  • Guess What Word You Cannot Have In a Comment Subject Line ...

    ... it's "p**d*cts".
    ldo17
  • RE: Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

    I hope I can still use my Mujjo - http://mujjo.com - touchscreen compatible winter gloves on this device. Does anybody know if it is equiped with a capacitive touchscreen?
    Haraldjefferson
  • RE: Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

    It makes perfect sense. Amazon, like other tech giants wants user lock in. A phone expands the garden and provides another annuity revenue stream. This is about staking out a claim in the new mobile gold rush.
    Skippy99
    • RE: Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

      @Skippy99 : Heh - users continue to reject lockins in spades, and in fact thar ain't no gold on them thar hills!
      Willnott
  • RE: Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

    Ho Hum - unfettered arrogance crops up yet again? Methinks they'd be smarter to just build an app for all the phones out there now, since that market is pretty well saturated already.
    Willnott
  • RE: Report: Amazon to follow up tablet with smartphone next year

    what is the 8.9-inch Amazon tablet? Is that new too?
    charlesg63