updated 07:58 am EDT, Fri July 6, 2012
Amazon looking to muscle in on smartphone market
A fresh rumor has Amazon developing its own entry into the hotly contested smartphone segment, reports Bloomberg. According to 'two people familiar with the matter,' the handset will run the Android OS and go head to head with the Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S line-up. Amazon is said to be working with Foxconn on the new device, which would join its 7-inch Kindle Fire.
Next to iTunes, Amazon represents the largest online content distribution platform with a range of music, e-books, movies, TV and apps that is even more extensive than Google’s own Google Play store. Amazon’s profit strategy has so far been driven by installing a forked version of Android that drives customers towards its store for legitimate content, while selling the device at or below cost. It is a model quite different from Google, which distributes its Android OS free while aiming to drive revenue through ad clicks in search and map results. Apple’s model differs again, with the iTunes store principally existing to drive sales of its more expensive hardware.
Although details on the new smartphone are sketchy at this early juncture, such a development starts to put into context Amazon’s recent acquisition of 3D mapping startup UpNext and its recent moves to acquire a portfolio of wireless patents. Its Kindle Fire has been the most successful Android-based tablet to date, although its sales have dipped sharply since it stormed up the sales charts during the holiday season late last year. Amazon is also rumored to be prepping a revised Kindle Fire and may also add a 10-inch tablet to its range.