Amazon.com is the go-to buying portal for millions of people all over the world. They have been in talks with HTC since last June to build Amazon handsets. The phones may be specifically for Amazon Prime subscribers, according to two people familiar with the situation.
If this report from Bloomberg it correct, the two companies haven't decided on whether or not they will move forward with an Amazon-branded smartphone. No timetables have been given on when such a device could be available to customers. The two people that spoke to Bloomberg asked to remain anonymous because the talks are supposed to be private. If the phone ever surfaces though, it could be just for Amazon Prime members. One person even mentioned that Amazon wants to sell phones through wireless carriers using some kind of a subscription model. The goal is to get Amazon Instant Video in front of more people.
Amazon Prime was rolled out in 2005 as a way to speed up delivery times for items ordered on Amazon.com. It's turned into its media platform housing Amazon Instant Video. Amazon wants to continue to build Prime and Instant Video. Apparently Amazon began working with Foxconn Technology Group in 2012 to build a smartphone, and now they are in talks with HTC.
Amazon and HTC are working on three devices. Neither company is saying anything about what exactly they are doing. Amazon isn't even returning requests for comments, and HTC is merely responding with "HTC doesn't comment on rumors and speculation." They are working on something but they are keeping it under wraps.
Amazon Instant Prime works with the Kindle Fire tablets. The app is in the Google Play Store but it's not compatible with very many devices. Amazon has already stated that they don't plan on releasing any phones this year, but that may just mean that we'll see something from them in 2014. HTC's Ben Ho declined to comment on anything specifically, but he did say that 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."