Reports have surfaced of Amazon's ambitious plans to incorporate a smartphone into their line-up of inexpensive hardware tied into their digital marketplace.
It seems like Amazon isn’t done challenging Apple, as several sources have reported that Amazon is developing a smartphone to compete with Apple’s iPhone, along with other handheld devices running Google’s Android operating system. It’s safe to assume that the phone would run on an Amazon-branded version of the Android operating system, similar to the operating system that runs their Kindle Fire tablet.
Reportedly, Foxconn is working with Amazon on the device; Amazon is looking to acquire patents covering wireless technology as well, in order to help protect itself from patent litigation, such as the massive battle raging between Apple and Samsung. Originally Amazon had considered buying patents from InterDigital Inc., though those plans fell through when the Pennsylvania-based company announced in June that they would be selling the patents to Intel for $375 million. Amazon is currently looking for new sellers from whom to purchase wireless technology patents.
A smartphone would give Amazon a foothold in the growing, lucrative handset market in which traditional manufacturers shipped 398.4 million units last quarter. Amazon took a stab at the tablet market as well with their release of the Kindle Fire, and a smartphone would help them bolster their strategy of focusing on profits from digital books, songs, and movies. While sales of the Kindle Fire haven’t been as quick as Amazon had hoped, it showed that the company could provide solid hardware comparable to its competitors for cheaper than they could. If Amazon can continue this trend, we might see a new line of cheap, sturdy smartphones tied into Amazon’s massive library of digital goods soon.