Nov. 17, 2011 at 6:42 PM ET
Amazon is fixing to have a mid-priced smartphone to sell to the Kindle audience this time next year, according to a report by Citigroup analysts Mark Mahaney and Kevin Chang that cited "supply chain channel checks."
The word is that Amazon has booked Foxconn, makers of many an Apple product, to create the smartphone, though it might be manufactured by another Taiwan-based firm. The goal is apparently for Amazon to build a phone in the $150 to $170 range, which it would sell to carriers more or less at cost. Amazon would make money by selling services and content, like it does with Kindle e-readers, and will now be doing with the Kindle Fire.
It's not a crazy speculation to say that Amazon, which already has a thriving Android app store, would want to be more involved in the phone hardware, but of course, it's not something the company will talk about now. We'll have to see what happens next year, and how well suited Amazon is at that time to compete against Apple, Samsung and the rest, in the cutthroat world of smartphone sales.
(Although this story has made the rounds of the Internet, it appears that PaidContent was first, or at least among the first wave, with the scoop from Citigroup.)
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