Amazon is preparing to enter the highly competitive smartphone arena, individuals briefed on the company’s plans have said.
The online retailer has been demonstrating different handsets to developers in San Francisco and Seattle lately, these sources told the Wall Street Journal.
Those close to the matter were told that Amazon intends to announce the phone by the end of June and begin shipping phones by the end of September this year, in time for the holiday shopping season.
It is thought that Amazon will differentiate its handset in the already packed market with a screen capable of displaying seemingly 3D images without special glasses. The sources said the phone would utilise retina-tracking technology embedded in four front-facing cameras, or sensors, to make certain images appear to be 3D.
News of Amazon’s smartphone ambitions comes less than a week after it announced its $99 media centre and microconsole, Fire TV. It was also spotted that the retailer juggernaut had hired Clint Hocking and Kim Swift for its dedicated games department.
What operating system the phone with use is currently unknown. But if it follows its bigger brothers, such as the Kindle Fire and new Fire TV, it will be built on a custom version of Google’s Android OS.
Any entry Amazon does make into the smartphone market will be tightly fought by Apple and Samsung.
But Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has stated that he prefers the company to profit from consumers buying services through Amazon hardware, rather than profit from the devices themselves.
In February, more than 60 per cent of the downloads on Amazon’s Appstore were categorised as games, which means new mobile hardware from the company could be positive news for the game makers wanting more opportunities to reach Amazon’s vast global audience.
Photo: Flickr/Sergey Galyonkin