Amazon is expected to launch its own smartphone after the success of its Kindle e-book reader, according to a report by brokerage firm Citigroup.
Technology bloggers have been speculating about the move for some time, but evidence deals between the online retail giant and Foxconn, makers of phone components, has seen Citigroup lending weight to the rumours.
The Amazon smartphone, already being labelled as the ‘Kindle phone’, is anticipated to hit shops by Christmas 2012. It is reasonable to assume that as a device which allows consumers to access its other range of online services, it will be available in America first, similar to the Kindle fire.
"With the clear success of the Kindle e-Reader over the past three years, and Kindle Fire possibly succeeding in the low-priced tablet market, we view this as the next logical step for Amazon. We continue to believe Amazon has set its eyes on the mobile (and tablet) media and product consumption frontier," said the brokerage firm.
Rumours are have already started to circulate that a Kindle Fire with a 8.9 inch screen will be unveiled in Q2 2012, with Foxconn named as the design manufacturer. Foxconn is the Chinese electronics company that manufactures parts for iPhones.
Unveiling the Kindle fire, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the devices were “premium products at non-premium prices." The gadget costs less than half the price of the Apple iPad.
Believing that low prices attract consumers, Amazon is unlikely to sell their smartphone for much more than what it costs to manufacture. Researchers have predicted a price somewhere between $150-$170.
Financial analysts said that supply chain checks revealed the phone could have a four inch touchscreen, an eight megapixel camera, and run on Microsoft Window’s Phone software.
However techology news website cnet has warned that a year gives the competition a long time to brainstorm exciting developments and that price is not everything: customers are demanding latest technology too.
Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney warned: “competition is more fierce than e-readers and tablets.”