Rumour: Amazon to launch a Kindle smartphone in 2012

AmazonAmazon appears to have a hit tablet on its hands with the Android-powered Kindle Fire. It could follow this up with a smartphone in late 2012, according to Citigroup analysts Mark Mahaney and Kevin Chang. Based on information provided by suppliers, they suggest that Amazon is jointly developing the phone with Foxconn Technologies (which also manufactures Apple’s iPads).

“We view this as the next logical step for Amazon,” explained Citi’s investment research analysts, “with the clear success of the Kindle e-Reader over the past 3 years, and Kindle Fire possibly succeeding in the low-priced tablet market […] we continue to believe Amazon has now set its eyes on the mobile (and tablet) media and product consumption frontier.”

Rumoured specifications indicate that Amazon’s smartphone (the Kindle smartphone?) would be powered by a TI OMAP4 processor and a Microsoft operating system (Windows Phone?). It would come with a 4-inch touchscreen display, HSPA+/EVDO connectivity and an 8MP camera. It could sell for between US$150 and US$170, essentially at Amazon’s production costs (something Amazon already reportedly does with the Kindle Fire) “What is important to note is that Amazon does not need to make money on hardware,” write Mahaney and Chang.

It appears that Amazon is set to join the battle between Apple and Google…

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