By Ina Fried and Tricia Duryee

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Interview: Bezos Won’t Confirm Phone, but Says More Devices Are in the Pipeline

Having expanded from e-readers to tablets, many people expect Amazon’s next move will be to enter the phone business.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wouldn’t confirm that, but said the company does have more devices cooking in its kitchen.

“We will, certainly — not any time soon, but next year we have some more things that we hope people will enjoy,” Bezos told AllThingsD in an interview on Thursday, following the launch of the updated Kindle Fire and the debut of the Kindle Fire HD. “And it’s premature for me to talk about them.”

What is clear is that Amazon is putting several of the key pieces in place that it will need to eventually do a phone.

With the latest round of Kindle Fire devices, Amazon is adding sound input as well as mapping capabilities, things that are nice-to-haves in a tablet but clear necessities for a phone.

The company is also expanding its wireless abilities. Bezos noted onstage that the company had to develop its own 4G LTE model in order to fit in the Kindle Fire HD’s small quarters. The company is also adding Bluetooth.

That’s another feature that is nice to have on a tablet for things like wireless speakers and keyboards, but essential on a phone to connect to headsets.

Amazon is also developing important economic engines that will help it in the phone business.

The company has shown the ability not just to have ad-supported hardware, but to have advertisements that people actually prefer to see.

Bezos noted Thursday in the interview that few of Amazon’s current customers opt to pay more for the ad-free hardware.

“No one really buys the non-special offers version,” Bezos said, noting that the new Kindle Fires don’t even come in offerless versions.

Amazon also has shown the ability to use its hardware to drive sales of other products and services, from a la carte music and movies to the Amazon Prime service.

Indeed, Bezos was emphatic on Thursday that customers want more than just a nice piece of hardware.

Check back later for more from AllThingsD’s interview with Bezos.


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