Will We See an Amazon Smartphone This Year?

Published on April 9, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Amazon’s plans to expand its digital device portfolio this year may extend well beyond just a larger Kindle Fire. Word around the company’s supply chain is that the retailer intends to release multiple new versions of the Fire, and perhaps a smartphone, as well.

Sources in Amazon’s component supply chain tell Topeka analyst Brian White that we could see the large-screen Kindle Fire that the company is believed to have in the pipeline make its debut sometime in June, and not by itself.

“Originally launched in 4Q11, the Kindle Fire is only available with a seven-inch screen and we believe a larger screen size version is coming this summer,” White says. “In fact, there could be two or possibly three versions of the Fire released with this launch and at least an eight-inch version appears to be in the cards.”

White didn’t elaborate on the device’s sizes, but the larger Fire Amazon is readying is rumored to feature a display similar in size to the iPad’s, if not larger — 10.1 inches.

As for that smartphone I mentioned, details are slim. (And this has been rumored before, of course.) White says only that he’s heard chatter suggesting it’s in the works, with a presumed 2012 launch date.

“Our research suggests Amazon is currently working on a smartphone that we believe is planned to launch this year and could prove to be more sophisticated than many smartphones on the market,” White says.

Not much to go on there. That said, it’s worth noting, given recent comments by Skyhook Wireless Ted Morgan suggesting that we’ll see a major smartphone released before the end of the year, running a modified version of Android not sanctioned by Google.

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