Amazon Kindle smartphone rumours resurface
Published Jul 6 2012, 10:32 BST | By Andrew Laughlin
Amazon is developing its own smartphone, as the US online retail giant ramps up its hardware battle with rivals Apple and Google, according to a report. Bloomberg
said that two people with "knowledge of the matter" claim that Amazon is working with Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturer, on the device.
The company is also said to be looking to acquire a number of patents covering wireless technology to help it defend against allegations of infringement from rivals.
Amazon is the market leader in the e-Reader market with its Kindle devices, but last year the firm expanded its hardware range with the Kindle Fire seven-inch screen tablet. Bloomberg
feels that a smartphone, potentially carrying the Kindle branding, would give Amazon a "wider range of low-priced hardware", and bolster its strategy of monetising the devices through sales of digital books, songs and movies.
The smartphone market is incredibly competitive, but also hugely lucrative.
Dominant players Samsung Electronics and Apple shipped a total of 398.4m smartphones in the first quarter of 2012, according to research firm IDC.
Korean firm Samsung today announced an expected 79% increase in its profits for the second quarter, mostly on the back of strong sales of its Galaxy line of phones.
Amazon's founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos is thought to be keen to expand the firm's hardware range and take a share of the market for wireless handsets.
An Amazon spokesman declined to comment.
Rumours of a Kindle smartphone first surfaced last November, when Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney said that the firm was preparing to move into the phone market
feels that it is significant that Amazon recently hired Matt Gordon, a patent heavyweight and former senior director of acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, to lead its strategy for patents and acquisitions going forward.
It is thought that the firm wants to snap up a range of wireless patents so that it can fend off any lawsuits from rival firms.
Also this week, it was reported that Amazon is readying a second edition of the Kindle Fire for August
, as it looks to keep pace with Google, which will launch its new Nexus 7 tablet later this month.