First Amazon smartphone to be announced by end of June


After years of rumours, 2014 looks to be the year that Amazon finally launches its first smartphone. Following in the footsteps of KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, The Wall Street Journal is the latest to report that the online retailer is gearing up for a launch later this year. Citing anonymous people “briefed on the company’s plans ,” it indicates that Amazon plans to announce the phone by the end of June with shipments to start by the end of September. Mass production could begin later this month with an initial order for 600,000 units.

The report adds that Amazon will distinguish its smartphone with a display capable of displaying 3D images without the need for glasses. As other rumours have suggested, the phone will sport four front-facing cameras that will use retina-tracking technology to “make some images appear to be 3-D.” The technology will apparently not only sense the movement of the user’s eyes but also whether the screen is moving close or further to their face. Such a motion could be used to zoom into images as it moves closer.

Amazon’s smartphone could also appeal to gamers. The software is reportedly optimized for graphic-intensive games and is designed to add a sense of depth to the gaming experience.

The report provides no other details about this first Amazon smartphone but earlier reports suggest it will come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a 4.7-inch display, a 13MP camera supplied by Sony, secondary cameras supplied by Primax and a battery with a capacity of between 2,000 and 2,400mAh.

The Amazon smartphone will presumably leverage Amazon’s growing range of services much as its Kindle Fire tablets and the just announced Fire TV set-top box already do. With the company having just announced that its app store now has over 200,000 apps, it is a credible alternative to Google Play which is not offered on Amazon’s other devices given that they use a forked version of Android.

It remains to be seen if Amazon will also release a cheaper smartphone model, most recently known as Project Aria, as well.

Source : The Wall Street Journal