Amazon Planning on Releasing a Smartphone?

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There are reports that Amazon.com Inc. is planning on releasing their very own smartphone. The e-commerce giant, which was founded in 1994 in Seattle, Washington, is said to be planning on unveiling the device at the end of June. It was mentioned that they also plan on shipping out units by the end of September, though dates are tentative at this time and could possibly change as the year goes on.

The act would be considered both broad and daring, if the company decided to go through with plans of further extending into the hardware market. Technology hardware giants Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics already both see high sales in cell phone models and the market is seen as ultra-competitive. The two companies control 49% of the sales in smartphones, and every other company is said to be unable to gain more than a 5% hold in the market.

Sources who were apparently briefed by the company have said that Amazon has high hopes for the release of their planned smartphone. The device is said to be able to display seemingly three-dimensional images to the user without the aid of special glasses. It would also make some things appear to be three-dimensional, kind of like a hologram. The technology used on the phone is also supposed to be able to sense the movement of the user’s eyes and when the screen was getting close to someone’s face and adjust accordingly, such as automatically zooming in and out on an image they were trying to view.

The actual design and pricing of the phone is unknown. If Amazon is to follow the pattern they followed with past models of tablets and other such devices, then it could be assumed that the smartphone will be moderately-priced. It has also been mentioned that the e-commerce company has been quietly meeting with different app and software developers to demonstrate the handset in suites at hotels, while the outside is protected by security guards.

It is not currently known what operating system the phone will be using or even which wireless carriers the company is working with. Their tablets use Google’s Android operating system while AT&T provides service. Spokespeople for both companies refused to comment when asked about their knowledge on the matter.

However risky the smartphone release may seem for Amazon, the e-commerce company is known for planning and taking risks when it comes to new things. Just last week, Amazon revealed a Kindle Fire TV, which is an internet video-streaming box similar to the likes of Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast. They also made an announcement that they plan on giving a wand to customers, who would use it to scan product bar-codes in the safety of their own homes to reorder products they had bought online from the Amazon website without ever needing to log back in to their computers. At the beginning of the year, Amazon also proposed the idea of a flying drone, which would deliver purchased products to customers’ homes in a short period of time.

By Jessica Cooley

Sources:
PC World
Washington Post
The Wall Street Journal

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