Amazon is all set to enter into the smartphones industry as rumors of a likely launch in 2014 is making rounds on the internet and in the smartphones industry. According to The Information, which reported that it is in possession of confidential documents regarding the launch of the phone, Amazon is already under talks with US mobile operators and is looking towards sealing a deal soon. However, no names were given as to which carrier it might be.
The phone, which has been referred to as Project Aria in the documents as its working name, is hinted would have an affordable price at a “fraction of a cost” compared to an iphone5S.
With the current competition in the smartphones industry, this does not come as much of a surprise. Amazon has also played with affordable hardware form with Kindle Fire tablets and e-readers so an affordable smartphone would not be a completely new venture for the firm.
The phone is expected to have a five-inch full HD screen, a 13 megapixel camera, a Snapdragon 800 processor and 3D gesture and eye tracking. The 3D gesture would be a feature on the smartphone that would allow for three-dimensional images without glasses. Images on the device screen would seem to float like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles using a retina-tracking technology.
The specifications of the phone are interesting and not exactly the type of features that one would expect to find in a budget smartphone. Snapdragon is still top end, even though it is no longer Qualcomm’s top processor. Furthermore, a 13 megapixel camera would also mean the Amazon smartphones would have a better camera than the iPhone 5S, which has an eight megapixel camera.
Some reports have suggested that Amazon may sell the phone as a slight loss leader, and recoup the cost of the smartphone through its Prime subscription service, which it increased to $99 a year in the US recently.
According to the documents, the company had talks with manufacturing companies in the EU and China last spring to manufacture the device. Earlier discussions also involved Latin America, but it has not been ascertained where or which company will actually manufacture the smartphones.
When rumors of the Amazon smartphones had surfaced last year, there had been speculations that HTC has been chosen to build Amazon’s first smartphone. However, no confirmations were made by either of the companies. With the launch of the smartphones speculated to be this year, the revelation of the information may not be far along.
Through the introduction of smartphones, the Seattle e-commerce giant would have the option of collecting new data on its users through app downloads, phone calls and maps and offer them shopping recommendations on its website amazon.com, along with potential for new services like mobile payments.
Nevertheless, while the firm seems to be set to enter into the US market, the challenge for Amazon to provide content to customers in non-US markets remains, as the company still lacks the licenses needed to deliver the same kind of content it offers in its home market to international customers.
Early last year, the Wall Street Journal had reported that Amazon has an array of gadgets lined up for its future plans. Some of the firms other plans include a streaming device with audio-only features and a set-top box for streaming movies and TV shows.
The publication said that these planned devices are a part of Amazon’s strategy to widen their influence beyond its core e-commerce website and also to expand its reach beyond its Kindle Fire line of tablet computers. The launch of the new Amazon smartphones this year would be the first step towards that goal.
By Faryal Najeeb