New kid on the block: Amazon reportedly testing upcoming smartphone

Amazon & Android. New competition or just hype?

Amazon, the online retailer we all know and love, are testing a smartphone. According to reports, sources within companies who supply hardware for Amazon's upcoming handset have confirmed that testing of said device is already underway, with production set to take place later this year or early 2013.

With what we've seen with the Kindle Fire tablet, it's a strong possibility that the online giant could well be using Google's Android OS to power their new hardware, which could then be sold under the Kindle brand. What's interesting to note, probably only from a Windows Phone point-of-view, is that Brandon Watson is currently at Amazon working away on the Kindle. Could he be collaborating with the company on a new smartphone after leaving Microsoft?

The WSJ reports that Amazon's smartphone has a display size sitting in the region between 4 and 5 inches - a perfect size to compete with the likes of the TITAN II and Galaxy S 3. It'll be interesting should Amazon choose to go with Android and launch a smartphone, since the platform is pack full of competitive companies, not to mention the established iPhone, BlackBerries, Windows Phones, etc. 

But what if they didn't choose Android? Let's not forget about Mozilla's Firefox OS. A 2013 smartphone release would fit in with Mozilla's plans for world domination kicking off next year. Then again, as we've asked before, will Firefox OS actually take off? It wouldn't make sense for Amazon to put eggs in a basket that's yet to prove itself.

We'll be sure to keep a close eye on the online retailer. What do you guys think of Amazon's plans? Let us know in the comments.

Source: WSJ, via: ITProPortal

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I like Amazon
  • That's nice
  • Shot in the dark here, but there were rumors for a while of Amazon buying webOS.  Since Amazon uses a closed ecosystem, what are the chances they would use it instead now that it has gone open source.  Google poses direct competition with thier purchase of Moto however, HP has withdrawn completely from the market.
    Again, I'm probably reaching.
  • To me this seems like it will be a complete flop.
  • the only thing I'm interested in seeling Amazon do is breaking the carrier subsidy model.  If they do nothing else but that I'll be way happy.  I hope they team up with NET10 or some other really cheap Pre-paid provider and make everyone realize how much they are overpaying with those shysters ATT and Verizon.
  • Kindle Phone...why use something completely different than your tablet if the key is seamless ecosystems?
  • Amazon forked Android for the Kindle Fire. Amazon doing something similar for a phone is far more plausible than simply throwing a lightly skinned version of Android on the phone as other Android manufacturers do. This would introduce some novelty in a rather crowded Android market. 
  • Amazon is the best but my money stays with Microsoft lol and nokia
  • Same here and I make my living on MS servers and workstations. Kindle tablet is not that great. Nexus 7 is better, and if they're producing another Android phones, Samsung is way ahead of them.
  • Samsung and Nokia r king tho lol HTC,Motorola,LG,pantech all ok but not as good as nokias hardware and Samsungs software
  • It would be siiick if the 2 neighbors (ms & amazon) teamed up to make Windows Phones! It would only be the right thing to do because Microsoft built the infrastructure for the kindle back when Microsoft had plans for an reader, now look at the kindle, its the best ereader ever.
  • Amazon seems to going down the route of Apple, a close eco system, with hardware, software and content.
    And they are doing it well without much of emphasis on design or specs. Most of their stuff just don't scream good taste. 
  • I'd pay attention if it was a Windows Phone...if not, next.
  • If it's running android and that's the design, "pay attention to what"? People are visual and is the design is flat, it will flop plain and simple. While Nokia is posting losses overall, there WP devices are selling well according to Amazon, ATT, and T-Mobile. This not only be wp is sexy, the the device is sexy as well. People see it and simply want it. Another two of  my co-worker who are die hard iphone users are converting after seeing me using my wp. I did not demo it or anything until after they notice me working on it.
  • Android? No thank you.
  • im all for competition but  an Amazon phone????? please no stop it because that means ebay might do a phone too
  • Another cheap piece of plastic, fire sucked w its custom android os. This will be...another android phone..boring.
  • Yawnn
  • Can the community both developers and users support more than three systems assuming that WP sticks? Until mobile phones get deeper penetration with HTML5 thus allowing more browser use rather than "apps" then I can't see this happening. Moat apps now are only done by a handful of developers and they don't have the time to handle all even if it means sacrificing incom.