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Is An Amazon Smartphone In The Works?

More whispers of Amazon potentially producing its own smartphone have been heard on the mobile grapevine.

Such a move wouldn't be too surprising for the retailer. After all, the Kindle Fire's crack at the tablet market has definitely been a success. Amazon launched its Android tablet last autumn, and it quickly established itself as the dominant Android device, despite getting to market far later than the pioneering Android slates - such as the Galaxy Tab.

The Fire's success is built partly on cost, with the wallet-friendly price tag is subsidised by Amazon, but its sales are also due to the fact: the online retailer can push the device using its massively trafficked site.

A smartphone could be pushed along exactly the same lines, and would provide a mobile arena for Amazon's shopping experience, which consumers would carry with them constantly. This is unlike a tablet, which tends to stay in the living room, even though it is portable; it's not as portable as a smartphone.

ABI analyst Aapo Markkanen has told Wired: "A smartphone would be a logical next step for Amazon."

He added: "The lock-in effect of a great content ecosystem shouldn't be under-estimated. If Amazon builds up a sizable customer base for its devices, and many of those customers find its content offerings appealing enough, then that would mean a tougher market environment for Apple, as well."

Another analyst, Citigroup's Mark Mahaney, has previously gone on record as saying that he believes Amazon already has plans to release the Kindle phone, and it will land in Q4 of this year. He's not alone in his belief.

There are potential stumbling blocks, though. A hugely customised Android phone could potentially be a turn-off for developers to work with, and whether consumers would want the heavy integration of shopping services in a phone, is a further bone of contention.

Perhaps, for now, Amazon is content to push on the tablet front, with more of these rumoured devices to be on the way. One purportedly, is an 8.9in full HD Fire (though previous speculation pointed to a full iPad-rivalling 10in model). We shall have to see.

Source: Wired