Amazon is reportedly at work on a new smartphone lineup currently being developed under the codename “Ice.” The new devices would succeed Amazon’s poorly received Fire Phone from 2014 and would come with Google’s suite of apps such as Gmail and Google Play. The Fire Phone, as well as Amazon’s range of Fire tablets, do not include these features.
The news arrives via Gadgets 360 citing two unnamed sources — one of whom has reportedly already used a test version of the handset. Apparently, the device does not currently support Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa, though the source noted that this could still be added at a later date.
As for the kind of specs you can expect, the aforementioned test unit is said to house a 5.2- to 5.5-inch display, Snapdragon 435 chip, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage space. The device is also believed to employ a 13 MP rear camera and rear fingerprint scanner, running on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It’s tipped to launch for approximately Rs 6,000 (~$93).
Support for Google Play could help the new handset range succeed where the Fire Phone did not, as the restriction to Amazon’s own store may have put off potential buyers. But lacking Alexa integration, when Amazon has a chance to get many more users hooked on the platform, might be a bad move.
One of the Gadgets 360 sources said that at least one new Amazon smartphone would go on sale in India before the end of the year, but US availability wasn’t mentioned. What are your thoughts on the prospects of the Amazon Ice phones? Let us know in the comments.