Amazon Wants to Build an iPhone-Killer
The online retailer plans to bolster its product lineup by releasing a Kindle-themed smartphone.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) phone would follow the lead of the Kindle Fire and use the Android mobile operating system from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). Foxconn, the Chinese company best known for manufacturing Apple's products, is said to be working with Amazon to produce the new smartphone.
This is not the first time that Amazon and Foxconn were expected to team up. Last year, Citi analysts Kevin Chang and Mark Mahaney conducted supply chain checks and revealed that the two companies may be developing a new cellular device together. According to Chang and Mahaney, Foxconn is helping Amazon develop the device but has no plans to handle the manufacturing process. Instead, Amazon will outsource that job to another company, TMS.
Having already produced several successful e-readers and one popular tablet, Amazon is quickly becoming a powerful force in electronics production. By leveraging its strong retail brand, the company could become a formidable player in the smartphone market.
Some critics disagree. In a lengthy critique of the Amazon smartphone concept, Gizmodo begged the online retailer to abandon this product. "Please, Amazon -- stick with what you've done well," Gizmodo's Sam Biddle wrote. "Nobody thought you could pull off a real tablet, but you did with aplomb. But don't get cocky. You'll screw it all up. People might buy the Fire because it says KINDLE on it, but they'll enjoy it because of the design. I doubt we'll be able to say the same about a phone."
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