Amazon is intent on making itself a significant player not just in the online retail industry (which it is actually dominating) but also on the consumer electronics front. It has proven that it knows the pulse of the public with the successful launch and significant sales of its Kindle eBook readers. It has continued its foray into consumer electronics with the highly regarded Kindle Fire tablet, one of the most affordable tablet in the market right now. But if reports are to be believed, Amazon is going deeper into its strategy by releasing a mobile phone next year.
According to rumors that have come out of Citigroupâ€™s research department, Amazon is likely already preparing for the production of an Amazon Smartphone. One of the sources of the rumor are the component suppliers from Asia.
Citigroup is basing its analysis on its supply chain checks in Asia. According to the report, Citigroup believes Amazon will release its smartphone by the fourth quarter of 2012. The report further revealed that Amazon is likely developing the phone with the help of Foxcon International Holdings, the same company that manufactures the iPhone and the iPad.
The supposed Amazon Smartphone will sport a TI OMAP 4 processor and will likely be priced between $150 to $170. Expect this phone to run a modified version of Googleâ€™s Android operating system, which is the same OS Amazon is using for its Kindle Fire tablet. The current belief is that Amazon will be competing in the lower end of the smartphone market and not directly with the high-end segment, which is being led in sales by the iPhone.