Amazon To Launch Kindle Smartphone In 2012?

If a report by an analyst for financial powerhouse Citi is to be believed, online retailer Amazon may be looking to launch a smartphone very soon, a move that will bring it even closer to its main rival, Apple.

The analyst firm released an alert saying, "based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi's Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12".

Ironically, the phone could be manufactured by none other than Foxconn Electronics, which also produces the iPhone. The phone is likely to be powered by a Texas Instrument OMAP4 chipset - the Kindle Fire has a 1GHz TI OMAP4430, a dual core model.

It may also have a "dual mode 6-series standalone baseband" from rival Qualcomm, possibly the MDM6600 Gobi 3300. As for the Kindle, Amazon is likely to sell the smartphone with little or no profit which will make life torrid at the mainstream level.

We've already heard rumours that pure PC manufacturers will exit the tablet market following the arrival of devices such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Barnes And Noble Nook Colour and the Apple iPad 2, all of which are tied with their own proprietary ecosystems.