Amazon’s digital ambitions began in 2007 with the launch of the Kindle. Today they sell not only eBooks, but music, movies, and television shows as well. The company entered the tablet market in 2011 with the Kindle Fire, and shortly thereafter we started seeing rumors crop up saying that Amazon was going to enter the smartphone business. According to a recent report from Taiwan Economic News, the Amazon phone is real, and Foxconn won an exclusive contract to make the device. The bill of materials is allegedly going to be anywhere between $100 and $200, which frankly doesn’t tell us much. The number we want to focus on is 5 million. That’s supposedly how many smartphones Amazon wants Foxconn wants to make for them in 2013.
Is 5 million a big number? Let’s take a step back and think about where the device would go on sale. America, obviously, but internationally you have to remember that Amazon only wants to sell devices where they’re also offering their services. That means Western Europe and … we can’t really think of any other markets. Sure, Amazon is selling eBooks is China and Japan, but you don’t launch a smartphone in a country where you can only offer a small subset of the content you’re able to provide in other regions.
When will this so called Amazon phone be announced? The report says somewhere between the second quarter and the third quarter. Put another way, that’s any time between April and September. We know Google I/O is in May, Apple will probably host an event in June, so July/August, which are traditionally seen as the “slow” months, would be a good time to strike.
Why are we writing about an Amazon phone on this website? Because Amazon’s tablets run Android software, so one would think their phone would too, right?
As soon as we know more about this unicorn handset, we’ll let you know!