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Amazon’s New Smartphone to Arrive in Q2 Sporting Pixart CMOS Image Sensors

May 13, 2014 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

Interested in Amazon’s rumored smartphone? We’ve been hearing about it for a months and months. According to new rumors Amazon will be announcing the phone and releasing it in the second quarter of this year. That’s basically now, which means we could be looking at an announcement any day. These rumors come from Chinese site China Times, and bring a couple other pieces of information with them.

Amazon’s smartphone is supposed to have some kind of 3-D display and a new set of gesture controls based on an odd camera configuration involving four cameras. One camera on each of the corners of the device would open up a world of new possibilities. Now we hear that these cameras are going to use Pixart CMOS image sensors. Pixart makes sensors used by the gesture recognition features in Pantech’s Vega LTE-A as well.

The rumors also say that Amazon is projecting shipments of between 300K and 600K units this year. Eventually, they’d like to ship 2-3 million smartphones total. We’ve also heard rumor the phone will be announced in June which would give Amazon plenty of time to move units this year. Even so, roughly 500K smartphones isn’t very many compared to the number of devices HTC or LG sell, let alone Samsung.

The Amazon smartphone is expected to have a 4.7-inch screen, 4G capabilities, and should be powered by a Snapdragon 801 chipset. It should also have features similar to Samsung’s floating touch features, using all of those cameras that Amazon is supposed to be packing in. It is expected to be priced at only $150-170 and could be exclusively available for Amazon Prime subscribers.

It doesn’t seem to be Amazon’s goal to flood the market with this smartphone, but simply to provide users another avenue to access Amazon goods and services. Much like Google with the Android platform, Amazon would be using this smartphone to lock users in to their products. If you have a Kindle or other Fire OS device like the Fire TV, if you use Amazon Prime and Instant Video, and if you love Amazon, this will be smartphone for you. If not, feel free to look elsewhere.