Amazon Rumored To Be Prepping Kindle Smartphone

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

One thing I love about the technology business, it’s seldom boring.  So when news came out today that Amazon has been rumored to be prepping a Kindle Smartphone, it was like hitting the ground running.  But can yet another Android handset make it in a crowded field of Bots?  It can if the price is right.

.. (if) Amazon plans on selling its device around $200, that just might be the right price point to start a contract-free revolution among U.S. smartphone users. – PC World

So the word is that Amazon wants to follow the Kindle Fire model and offer a smartphone that is about $200 and would run a highly modified version of Android.  It would have one click access to just about everything on, including music, movies and more, and users who have Amazon Prime membership will also be able to watch movies and television episodes for free.  That has proven to be quite a lucrative element for the Kindle Fire tablet, which was introduced last fall.   While some have long considered the modern tablet as a content consumption device, the Fire has proven to be a content commerce device thanks to Amazon’s one click portal which allows for purchasing of content like eBooks and movie rentals with the touch of a single button. That’s a pretty powerful lure to separate a Kindle Smartphone from the Android pack.

But the biggest feature of a Kindle Smartphone may be the price itself.  Chances are, if you’re reading this, you have a smartphone.  You also know that in buying a smartphone, unless you’ve bought an unlocked model at full price (usually between $500-700), you’ve gotten a subsidized deal that hooks you into a two-year contract just for the priviledge.  These days, that really isn’t as big a deal as ten or twenty years ago.  There’s great smartphone choices with any carrier now.  But that two year contract still lingers as a noose around everyone’s neck.  If Amazon can offer an unsubsidized smartphone with a two hundred dollar price point, that could seriously put the require two year deal to bed for good.   And that would send ripples all around the industry.

And what’s really interesting about the news is that Amazon may be working with FoxConn, the same company that builds the iPhone for Apple.  It wouldn’t be the first time that FoxConn has looked for another provider.  In fact, the Chinese electronic manufacturer is quite promiscuous from a design and engineering point of view.  Not only does it build iPhones and iPads for Apple, but it also makes devices for Motorola Mobility, Nokia and even Samsung.

And while Amazon chose rival tablet maker Quanta to build it’s original Kindle Fire, it was announced last Spring that FoxConn would be taking over the reigns of manufacturing for the Fire 2.  That would position FoxConn to make a companion smartphone based on a similar, albeit smaller, architecture.

So what would a Kindle Smartphone have under the hood?  Speculation is that it’ll be running a OMAP 4 ARM-based processor and maybe run a highly modified, Kindle centric Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).  But it should also probably be a larger screen, maybe even similar in size to the Samsung Galaxy Note, as a small screened smartphone isn’t really ideal for reading of eBooks.

Source: PC World

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.