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Rumors Suggest Amazon’s Project Aria Smartphone Could Hit Market This Year

March 13, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

More rumors surrounding the Amazon smartphone have surfaced recently, with expectations that Amazon could not only launch their version of a set-top box this year but also the smartphone that we thought we might get a look at in 2013. Amazon has seen huge success with their Kindle Fire line of Android tablets, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they wanted to attempt for the same success with the launch of a smartphone with a similar experience. There isn’t much to know about that fabled device from the giant online retailer that we haven’t already heard, but Amazon has high expectations of delivering a smartphone experience to users not only here in the U.S., but also in emerging markets.

Since Amazon doesn’t have any global licensing in place, they would have some trouble with the success of an Amazon smartphone in those areas, as a major draw of their lineup of device is streaming media content availability. Each Amazon Kindle Fire tablet has a huge niche with being able to deliver streaming media content in many forms to users, but that kind of experience is only available to users in the U.S. right now. Amazon has a huge opportunity to get services like Amazon instant video up and running in other countries where it’s eyeing a possible launch for their smartphone, but unless they can make those services available, they will still need  to place a large focus on the U.S. market for success of their smartphone.

The device that Amazon is working on is said to be referred to as Project Aria, and that Amazon has already approached OEMs as early as last Spring about manufacturing the device. Amazon has also reportedly been in talks with major U.S. carriers about selling the phone once it’s completed, although there was no mention of which carriers they have already approached and proposed the idea to. Rumors in the past have suggested that HTC could be a potential OEM partner for the manufacturing of the Project Aria device, although there hasn’t been any confirmation from HTC on the matter. If Amazon can cover three technological bases with products like their tablets, a smartphone and a set-top box, they could easily amount for a large portion of device ownership going forward. Since they have a heavy focus on delivering media content to users, having a smartphone, a tablet, and a set-top box connected to a TV could be an easy way for users to stream and share content between devices, allowing Amazon to compete with other companies that provide similar solutions.