Rumored HTC Amazon phone may be sold exclusively to Prime Members

by: Andrew GrushOctober 16, 2013


Just yesterday a new rumor surfaced claiming that HTC and Amazon have partnered up and are actively working on three Amazon-branded handsets for release no earlier than sometime next year. Now Bloomberg News is also chiming in with a few new details of their own.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, HTC and Amazon are not only working on three different handsets, but they plan to sell them exclusively to members of Amazon’s Prime service. The idea is that Amazon wants to boast both the number of Prime subscribers as well as increase the number of devices that can access Amazon’s Instant Video service.

Of course an easy way to increase the number of devices accessing Amazon’s streaming service would be to release the Instant Video app for Android, but I digress.

Back on point, the anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg make it clear that Amazon and HTC have yet to make a final decision on whether or not to actually release the three handsets – so that means they are still very much in the planning and prototyping phase.

Does the idea of being ‘Prime only’ make sense?

The idea of limiting the Amazon phone to just Prime members has its pros and cons. On the positive side, Amazon is guaranteed to not only make money from the use of Amazon’s App Store but also from the required Amazon Prime subscription. This means that Amazon can likely subsidize the costs of the phone and give consumers a killer price tag. On the downside, they are also locking out potential customers.

If this rumor is true, Amazon is probably hoping that an affordable price point and (we assume) decent specs will be enough to pull in more Prime members. Will it work? That remains unseen.

What do you think – would you consider an Amazon handset if the price were right?

  • Clifton Keathley

    Release the app!!

    • Israel Perez

      I want my Cia Amazon phone

  • Gandhi

    Join prime, bag device, leave prime. Simples

    • Aniruddh

      Amazon won’t be that stupid.
      You probably need to connect your Amazon account with the device which ensures your account is Prime everytime you connect to the internet. If you aren’t it’ll probably lock you out or something

  • Tuấn Ankh

    A Prime phone? It better has a beast battery to handle all the Prime watching, unless Amazon wants to screw with its customers.

  • Rebecca Raven

    And give the phone owners the same Kindle features (borrow and lend) as the Kindle owners.

    • Israel Perez


  • Amadeus Klein

    Or buy the device and get prime with it, or have the option to get the phone cheaper if you’re already prime…

  • Mortal Canem

    This is only awesome if the Specs are amazing! Otherwise, as a prime member, I won’t care that it’s prime only. If you’re going to make it exclusive, make it exceptional.

  • Groud Frank

    Waste of time honestly. I can already imagine the horrible skin they will put on that phone and it probably will not be compatible with Google requirements to have access to the play store. If it does come with nice specs and Cyanogen Inc decides to make a one click install of its rom for it then maybe it might have a purpose…

  • MrG

    One Maxx specs and Nexus price tag, sign me up. Would it be a GSM phone, though?

  • Lisandro O Oocks

    And HTC will wonder later why is it sucking so much to make a profit

  • RanRu

    I can’t imagine Amazon would just go and brick your phone if you stopped your Prime subscription.
    Maybe you’ll have to sign up for so many years of prime service in advance when you buy the phone?
    Imagine how effective the ads would be. “$299 smartphone with no contract and three years of Amazon Prime for ‘free’!”

  • Clarkkent113

    As a prime member I just shrug (yes I use it instead of Netflix) I just shrug. The dealbreaker is Amazon’s insistence on using their own app store instead of the Google Play store.

    If Amazon released a Google edition of their devices I’d be much more interested in their ecosystem overall.

  • Gadgetgyan

    Eyeing the differences of Google and Amazon i really dont know what this smartphone will bring for the customers