On the heels of the release of the new Kindle Fire, Amazon's first attempt at a true tablet device, it looks like the company is already thinking about heading in the direction of smartphones.
According to a note from Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney, we could see an Amazon smartphone hit the market as soon as Q4 2012. Here's a quote from the note, courtesy of All Things D:
Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi’s Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12. Based on our supply chain check, we believe FIH is now jointly developing the phone with Amazon. However, we believe that Amazon will pay NRE (non-recurring engineering fees) to FIH but the device and multiple components will actually be manufactured by Hon Hai’s TMS business group (the same business group that makes Amazon’s E-reader and the 8.9” Amazon tablet).
We believe the smartphone will adopt Texas Instrument’s OMAP 4 processor and is very likely to adopt QCOM’s dual mode 6-series standalone baseband given QCOM has been a long-time baseband supplier for Amazon’s E-reader.
The speculation went further to say that the device might cost somewhere in the $150 to $170 range, and probably run on Android OS.
The Kindle Fire is just a few days old, and based on my limited play with one appears to be a pretty good device for the amazingly low $199 price point. Could an Amazon smartphone succeed in a market filled with quality Android devices (not to mention the fact that history suggests that a new iPhone will be rolling out near that projected timeframe).?
Do smartphones seem like a logical progression for the world's biggest online retailer? Let us know what you think in the comments.