July 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM ET
What's a Friday morning without the reappearance of a trusty old rumor?
According to the folks at Bloomberg, "two people with knowledge of the matter said" that Amazon is developing a smartphone.
The online retailer is supposedly working with manufacturer Foxconn — who, you may recall, also has an extensive relationship with Apple — on the device. Bloomberg's anonymous sources add that Amazon is "acquiring patents that cover wireless technology and would help it defend against allegations of infringement." (A wise move, considering the drama between Apple and Samsung.)
We've reached out to Amazon for comment, but in the meantime we're taking the whole thing with a pinch of salt or two — just as we did when the topic was discussed last November. At that time, Citigroup analysts Mark Mahaney and Kevin Chang cited "supply chain channel checks" in their explanation of Amazon's plans. Even back then. Foxconn's name was thrown around — though it was acknowledged that another manufacturer could be considered.
Considering that Amazon's own tablets have been selling relatively well, it wouldn't be a huge shock if the company gave smartphone hardware a shot, too, especially since it would further the retailer's goal of selling lots and lots of mobile apps. Of course, it'll likely be a little while longer before we find out what's really going on. After all, Mahaney and Chang's initial report claimed that we'd see the mysterious Amazon smartphone sometime in the late fall or early winter of this year.
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