Jul 11 AT 9:39 AM Anthony Domanico 16 Comments

WSJ: Amazon testing a smartphone with 4-5″ screen

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It turns out that Amazon’s multiple device strategy may finally be coming to fruition.

We reported way back in early 2011 that Amazon was bringing a family of devices to market, with a phone and two tablets rumored to be somewhere in the testing process. While the timing may have been a bit off, we now have a 7″ Kindle Fire released to the public, a rumored 10″ Kindle Fire 2 coming as soon as the end of this month, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that Amazon is currently internally testing a smartphone with a screen between 4 and 5″. The WSJ report follows a Bloomberg report from last week that Amazon was working on a smartphone, and the two separate reports lend credibility to the Amazon phone rumor.

If the news holds, Amazon will begin production of the KindlePhone later this year or early next year, with the device going on sale sometime in early 2013. There are obviously more questions than answers at this point in the game, but one question we’d like to hear the answer to sooner than later is whether or not the KindlePhone will feature the Kindle UI Amazon’s placed on its Kindle Fire tablets.

This would further hook customers into the Amazon ecosystem at the expense of the Google Play Store, something Google likely isn’t too keen about. Google has released the Nexus 7 tablet with deep Google Play integration. Google hopes the Nexus 7 will pull customers away from the Kindle Fire tablet and get them deeply embedded into Google’s ecosystem, which is where big G obviously makes their money.

We’ll likely be hearing much more about an Amazon KindlePhone soon, and we’ll bring you the goods as soon as we learn ‘em.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    While I’m sure Google isn’t a fan of it, I’m happy to see Amazon trying to offer their own ecosystem with Android. I personally won’t be buying into it but it’s good to have somebody to force Google to compete against lest they lose marketshare. Afterall, if it wasn’t for the Kindle Fire, we very well may not have had the Nexus 7. Thanks, Amazon!

  • spazby

    i get why some people get kindle fire as if you are a prime member and read a lot, the library feature makes sense and the streaming of their content is not too bad neither… don’t see what would make me to buy their phone though…

  • dpleus

    I’m not sure what kind of reception a KindlePhone would get in the vast smartphone market today. To be able to compete with Apple and the various Android handset makers Amazon would either need to undercut pricing, or introduce a phenomenal UI. With that said, I look forward to seeing if these rumors come true and what Amazon has cooked up. Good luck Amazon.

    • kazahani

      With the Fire, they showed that their strategy was to undercut pricing. If Amazon sells this direct and unlocked for a reasonable price, ala the Play Store Nexus, we might start to see a meaningful downward shift in un-subsidized phone prices.

      • redraider133

        We can only hope that this is the case. Unsubsidized would hopefully lead to lower overall plan prices and also lower retail prices of phones.

      • spazby

        that would be great

  • kazahani

    When Amazon launched the Fire at $199, we saw a big price correction in 7″ tablets.

    Hopefully the Kindle Fire 2 and KindlePhone can do the same thing for 10″ tabs and smartphones.

  • aranea

    Amazon prime is a big attraction for me actually. I would have bought fire if it was 10inch. But now a 10 inch Nexus tablet may be on the way so I’m torn.

  • LukeT32

    have they released who the actual manufacturer is on the kindle devices?

    • Bpear96

      Quanta Computer’s I believe is who manufactured the Kindle Fire. Rumor has it that amazon is working with Foxconn to manufacture the 10″ kindle tablet and there phone

  • Ardrid

    Given the success of the Kindle Fire, as well as Amazon’s nearly instant brand recognition, I’m very interested in seeing what they can come up with. Combine Kindle Phone + Kindle Fire + Amazon Prime and you have a truly robust media ecosystem at your fingertips. Damn good time to be an Android fan, frivolous Apple lawsuits and fragmentation worries aside.

    • Dags -

      I think this harms Android more than helps it. The Kindle Fire OS is not Android, it’s a fork and Amazon gets all the money and Google gets squat – no money from apps or other services. They are direct competitors – those who buy Kindle Fires would most likely have purchased a cheap Android tablet – but Google pays for most of the software development for the Kindle. There are some indirect benefits to Android, eg. apps developed for the Kindle Fire will most likely come to the Play Store as well, but one of the worst aspects is that it probably makes Google reconsider whether their open-source strategy is worth it. I really don’t want to see them move to an closed-source/licensing model just to shut out Amazon.

      • masterpfa

        @ Dags I think you have presented the best argument on this matter.

  • Nathan D.

    I wounder how this phone will look like and perform if they are trying to make a budget phone, most likely wouldn’t stack up to the GSIII but at least a decent phone

  • Adryan maldonado

    I find it funny when the wall street journal reports stories. “the Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that Amazon is currently internally testing a smartphone with a screen between 4 and 5″ in other news im reporting that amazon is internally testing a phone that may weigh anywhere from 0.1-100lbs more breaking news stories to follow.

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