Amazon is building a smartphone.*

Posted by Rhuaridh Marr
July 9, 2012 8:09 AM |

*Allegedly. Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon and Chinese manufacturer Foxconn are currently in talks for the online giant to launch its own smartphone, expected to run on a heavily-skinned version of Android -- much like the company's Kindle Fire tablet. According to "two people with knowledge of the matter," the secret device is intended to allow Amazon to further penetrate the market with its digital content -- books, music, games and video.

Indeed, Amazon are one of only a few companies with the ecosystem to fully challenge rival Apple in terms of both providing hardware, software and digital content -- albeit the core of Amazon's mobile OS is Android. The Kindle Fire, while relatively simple when compared to high-end tablets from other manufacturers, pushed content to the front, in the process giving Amazon another means through which it could draw users into its content ecosystem, much like Apple has done with its iOS devices and iTunes. A smartphone would be a natural next step.

With no official confirmation from either Foxconn or Amazon, however, any smaller brother to the Kindle Fire is very much classified as "rumor."

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