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.