Amazon Phone Being Tested In Asia – Report

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An Amazon phone could come this year, say reports

Amazon is working with component suppliers in Asia to test a new smartphone, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.

The report is the latest to suggest that the retailer is preparing to enter the hotly-contested smartphone market, speculation which has intensified following the success of the Kindle Fire, which was released last year. Last week, it was reported that the rumoured Amazon phone was to be manufactured by Foxconn, the same company which builds iPhones for Apple.

Amazon phone next year?

Sources at Amazon’s parts suppliers say that the screen of the smartphone being tested measures between four and five inches in size and that full testing and mass production of the device could start late this year or early in 2013.

It is unclear whether the smartphone will compete with high-end devices such as the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S III, or if Amazon will replicate the strategy it has employed with the Kindle Fire tablet of selling a tablet cheaply, losing money on each unit sold, hoping to recoup it in sales of digital content.

The Kindle Fire has proved massively successful since its launch, shifting millions of units, despite a mixed critical response. This has prompted many to suggest that the launch of a smartphone was only a matter of time, with CitiGroup among the first to predict such a device.

Adding further strength to these rumours was Amazon’s acquisition of mapping startup UpNext, to use either in the Kindle Fire or in any future mobile phone.

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