Amazon to partner with HTC to develop smartphones?


Rumours that Amazon is working on a smartphone go back to late 2011. Early ones had Amazon working with Foxconn but a report by The Financial Times today indicates that it is now working with HTC on up to three different models.

One device is reportedly “at an advanced stage of development” and could launch in 2014 should Amazon decide to move forward with the project. The report does not provide any details about this or the other two devices.

A report earlier this month suggested Amazon had two smartphones in the works, one a a high-end model featuring a 3D eye-tracking interface and the other an inexpensive model. It’s not clear what role if any HTC may have in the design of these devices assuming they even exist.

The partnership with HTC would represent a departure for Amazon. While its Kindle tablets have been built by contract manufacturers, design and development were done through its own Code 126 unit. After a rumoured two years of development, it may have recognized that it needs the assistance of a company that has more experience in developing smartphones.

As for HTC, its last attempt at working with a partner proved to be a failure as the HTC First designed for Facebook failed to catch on with consumers. At the same time, its first successes also go back to such work for companies such as Compaq and Palm.

In response to the story, HTC’s Chief Marketing Officer Ben Ho would only say that the company is “always exploring new opportunities” and remains “very open to co-branding and collaborating with carriers and other technology brand.”

Source : The Financial Times