After long times of speculation, several leaks and much rumor, Amazon is reported to work on its new line of handsets – including two smartphones and an audio-only streaming device – which are supposed to arrive in the second half of 2014 and enter competition with such giants as Google Inc. and Apple Inc.
Amazon has been rumored to have been working on a phone for a while now, and the recent hiring of top Windows Phone evangelist Charlie Kindel also raised alarms that Amazon might be in the smartphone business soon.
The American tech major has been demonstrating versions of the phone to developers in its hometown Seattle and San Francisco recently, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources. The developers were reportedly required to visit hotel suites with heavy security in place in order to view the demonstrations.
The e-commerce powerhouse reportedly plans to make an announcement about its smartphone by the end of June with shipment of the device to begin by the end of September, ahead of holiday season. The mass production of the new smartphone will reportedly begin later this month, with an initial order of 600,000 units. Amazon is also in talks with selected app and software developers.
Earlier, famous analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said that the phone would reportedly feature 4.5 or 4.7-inch 3D screen with 300-320 ppm, 6 cameras for gesture control, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a 12-megapixel front-facing camera and 13-megapixel rear camera, as well as a 2000 or 2400 mAh battery.
Additionally, the phone would feature retina-tracking technology embedded in four front-facing cameras in order to make photos appear to be 3D, similar to hologram. It’s claimed that the technology can also detect a person’s eye movement, as well as the closeness between the screen and user’s face, which will automatically zoom into images.
However, nothing has been said about the pricing of the smartphone, although the WSJ source mentioned that Amazon might alter its launch plans due to the performance or, other aspects. Also, there is no information available as to what operating system the device will run, though the Kindle Fire tablets and Fire TV set-top box both powered by Android.
The reported streaming device sounds like a cloud connected JamBox or iPod that would serve a user subscription music—or at least the music in the Amazon Cloud Drive.
Amazon has launched a full-fledged assault on hardware, and only last week broke into the set-top TV biz with Amazon Fire TV. It’s no stranger to the tablet side of things, and a smartphone seems the next logical step to bring everyone under the growing Amazon empire, says TechRadar.
Amazon would be entering a crowded hardware market, however. Samsung controls nearly a third of the smartphone market, while Apple owns another 15 percent, reports CNet.
A dozen other companies are fighting for a chunk, but few of them are actually making money. BlackBerry is on the brink of collapse, Nokia couldn’t survive without a takeover from Microsoft, and even once solid smartphone manufacturers like HTC have stalled.