Amazon's First Smartphone Held Up by Supply Chain Issues
It looks like consumers will have to wait a little longer for the first chance to buy a Kindle smartphone.
According to DigiTimes, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) might have to delay the release of its highly anticipated phone after encountering unexpected issues with its production partner, Foxconn International Holdings. Ensky Tech, one of FIH's subsidiaries, has been conducting an engineering verification test to ensure the new smartphone is ready to go.
Sources within the flat panel supply chain industry informed DigiTimes that things have not been going as smoothly as expected. Consequently, Amazon may be unable to begin the manufacturing process in June as originally anticipated.
While Amazon has not officially confirmed the existence of a Kindle smartphone, there have been rumors of its existence since the day the Kindle Fire was unveiled in 2011.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, added fuel to those rumors when he spoke to Charlie Rose last November. During the interview, Bezos said that he was reluctant to discuss the company's future roadmap. This inspired a bit of laughter in Rose, who replied, "Because it might incriminate you?"
"Yes," Bezos answered, also laughing. "I'll just have to ask you to stay tuned. There are a bunch of rumors. I agree that there are a bunch of rumors that we might do a phone."
"Of course, that answer leads us to believe that you are going to do it," Rose added. "You're just waiting for the right opportunity."
"Well," Bezos replied, still laughing. "You'll just have to wait and see."
That "wait and see" comment led many to believe that Amazon is developing a smartphone.
If true, this would be third major product that Amazon adds to its lineup. The company currently produces a wide array of e-readers and tablets, the latter of which can perform virtually every smartphone task except make calls.
It is not yet known how big an Amazon smartphone may be, but the company is likely to offer a couple models with varying display sizes. This strategy would be similar to the one employed by Samsung, which produces multiple smartphones in order to serve as many customers as possible.
In fact, Samsung is only days away from unveiling its next flagship phone -- the Galaxy S IV
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which only offered one display size until the iPhone 5 was released, is expected to expand its product portfolio and offer a greater variety of smartphones in the not too distant future.
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