What happened to the Amazon smartphone?
Contrary to our report-slash-expectation yesterday that Amazon would have an Android-powered phone to show off on its Santa Monica event, insiders quoted by The Verge indicated it was a sure thing. But we found out that the Kindle phone wasn’t on the menu for the day.
So it looks like the rumors of an Amazon-branded phone will live on as …rumors – for now. But as the saying goes, sometimes you win some (Kindle Fire HD, New Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite), and sometimes you lose some (Kindle phone).
Looking back at what the sources said, it was mentioned that the so-called Kindle phone is still a work in progress, which explains why it was absent from yesterday’s event. Seeing that there are only about 3.5 months left in the year, it’s looking likely that we won’t see it surface in 2012.
Further, introducing a phone amongst the sea of new tablets and e-readers may not be the best way to get folks excited, as it’d have to fight for that narrow place under the spotlight.
What we did get out of Amazon’s live event was a placeholder for a future Kindle phone — and other Amazon devices — with 4G connectivity, with the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE leading the way. Partnering with AT&T, those who purchased the tablet will have access to the carrier’s 4G network by paying $50 a year to get a monthly 250MB data allowance. We don’t see why Amazon and AT&T wouldn’t want to build on this partnership for a future phone, especially if the first venture turns out be successful.
But honestly, between the revamped Kindle Fire and its $159 price, and the two Kindle Fire HDs, we don’t think anyone would be losing any sleep over the cancelled Amazon phone announcement, which may not even be in the cards, in the first place.