Amazon and HTC have been in talks since June to develop a range of smartphones, possibly for users of the Amazon Prime delivery and content service, according to various reports.
The Financial Times says the two companies have been working on a number of devices that are believed to be in an advanced stage of development, but no decision has been made as to when, if ever, they will be released, although it could be in 2014.
However Bloomberg says the handsets could be targeted at subscribers of Amazon Prime, which was launched in 2005 as a fast delivery service, but has since expanded to offer users video and TV content.
An Amazon-branded smartphone has been rumoured ever since Amazon launched its first tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire, in 2011.It was sold at a loss, with costs recouped through the sale of digital content, such as music, films, TV and books from its online store.
By partnering with an established manufacturer like HTC, Amazon would be following the precedent set by rival Google, which has teamed up with Asus, LG and Samsung to produce Nexus-branded tablets and smartphones to extend the reach of its services.
For HTC, Amazon could offer it a lifeline that its partnership with Facebook for the HTC First could not. The Taiwanese company was once one of the leading Android smartphone manufacturers, but it has seen its share of the market slide and it posted its first ever quarterly loss earlier this month, despite the critical acclaim received by its current flagship HTC One.
However LG’s recent success with Nexus-branded smartphones has seen it re-emerge on the Android scene and HTC will be hoping for a similar result if the Amazon handset ever sees the light of day.
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