According to the Financial Times, Amazon is working with HTC to produce their much-awaited smartphone. Amazon wants to continue to grow and compete against the likes of Google and Apple, according to sources close to the project. Apparently one of the devices is in an “advanced stage of development,” but the launch timeline was already changed once and Amazon may decide not to release the device at all. An Amazon smartphone has been rumored for the past two years, but more and more information is being leaked about actual devices, although in an article we did the first of this month, a spokeswoman from Amazon said they would not be releasing a phone this year – so naturally everybody is focusing on 2014. In that article, there was to be two models; a cheaper phone with basic features using the Kindle Fire software, called FireOS, and a flagship style phone featuring a 3D User Interface (UI) achieved by using four, front-facing cameras at the four corners of the phone. The Financial Times said:
HTC declined to comment on Amazon, but Ben Ho, its chief of marketing, said the company is “always exploring new opportunities. We have been very focused on building our own brand, but we have also been very open to co-branding and collaborating with carriers and other technology brands.”
Amazon is following Google’s path in developing its phones by partnering with HTC – The Google Nexus lines of phones are farmed out to other manufacturers, such as LG and Samsung. By selling smartphones, Amazon will gain greater consumer recognition as well as increase product sales on their website via smartphones and tablets, as more people shy away from brick and mortar stores. The Amazon Kindle tablets are one of the most popular tablets that run a heavily “shelled” Android OS, called FireOs. While the tablets are developed at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and made by a secretive design unit in California, Lab 126, by contract manufacturers, reaching out to HTC, a name brand manufacturer, would be a first. The partnership could help financially troubled HTC boost their profits, as it would work to their strengths of product design. Sales of the phone for Amazon could be increased with a well-known manufacturer like HTC.