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Rumour: Amazon working on own smartphone

A rumour has emerged that Amazon could be developing a smartphone to compete directly with Apple’s iPhone.

Foxconn is said to be working with the retailer on the production of the handset, while other claims suggest Amazon is attempting to buy up wireless technology patents in an effort to avoid being embroiled in the smartphone legal wrangling that has beset all the large manufacturers.

While the person behind this rumour is staying anonymous for now, they aren’t the first to claim Amazon is looking to enter the mobile market. Back in November last year, analyst at Citigroup Mark Mahaney said that the online retailer had plans for a smartphone handset too.

Would you buy an Amazon smartphone?

Bloomberg pointed at Google’s acquisition of Motorola as an example of the growing trend of mobile patent acquisition. Doing so potentially gives these large firms much more of a leg to stand on if they are targeted by other smartphone manufacturers with claims of patent infringement. It also provides ammunition for those same companies if they choose to perform their own aggressive litigation.

Taking that into consideration, perhaps Amazon is merely buying up patents in order to protect its growing Kindle platform. Then again, moving from tablet to touch screen smartphone isn’t a huge step, so perhaps the rumours are correct.

Kitguru Says: Would you buy an Amazon smartphone if it was released? It could have access to one of the largest music and Ebook libraries available, though it’s debatable how fun it would be to read a full book on your phone.

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