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Long-standing rumors of an 'Amazon phone' could finally come true

Amazon is gearing up to release multiple smart phones manufactured by HTC, according to people familiar with the company's plans. Sources of the Financial Times claim that a range of phones are in the works, with at least one that is in advanced stages. The phone is said to be released as early as the end of this year, but launch plans have changed before and may be pushed back again until 2014.

Amazon has traditionally used white label manufacturers for its Kindle devices, holding all branding to itself. The move to partnering with HTC for manufacturing is something that HTC is well-accustomed to, but it's unclear what Amazon has to gain from having the HTC logo on its devices.

Presumably the partnership could be mutually beneficial if Amazon targets the product correctly. Amazon could potentially leverage HTC's brand recognition and history of dealing with wireless carriers, and an Amazon-driven phone that sells extremely well would be a boon for HTC's currently struggling financial situation.

Source: FT


Reader comments

Report: Amazon partnering with HTC to release multiple phones in 2014


Google phones = You use them to "Search".
Amazon phones = You use them to "Shop".

HTC will bring "Quality Recognition" to Amazon's devices.

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This is great! Amazon outs super cheap phones, albeit heavily skinned, but with great content and specs; and HTC returns to its OEM ways that made it so awesome. Could this be the win-win HTC was looking for?

This! Hopefully! :)

Though... Facebook didn't really pan out how it could have. We'll see what the Kindle phone (maybe even a Kindle) can do for HTC.

I think it will have more success than the Facebook phone, Kindle brand is well recognized by the public, they have a huge userbase, and being Amazon they'll probably keep the price low similar to Nexus devices. I don't know how the carrier situation will be like, but would be nice if it's unlocked, that and low price + free shipping from Amazon website it'll probably sell like hotcakes.

I'll skip this one though, my experience with Kindle OS have not been very good, involving creating my own factory cable to hack it and put Google Play Store on. The software is just to restrictive for me, but it haven't stopped it's sales.

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Agreed, the new kindles are some of the most popular tablet's out there.
This could be a major saving grace to HTC, I hope it helps them out.
Though I'm sure this won't interest most of us because Kindle's run such a controlled and restricted android like experience

it will be much more worse than facebook phone and HTC will doom if that happens.

i will totally stop supporting HTC... I have made at least 4 people buy HTC One phone over few months imagine support for HTC drops from 10000 people it will go to doom

I think it worth a shot HTC disn't have many other choices right now and the popularity of the kindle tablets could help sell with some marketing from Amazon.

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If its good why not? I was thinking of getting a kindle anyways.

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Because they didn't learn their lesson the first or second time they partnered with Facebook. What's next? A twitter phone (Call it the HTC Tweeter)? An eBay phone? A Yahoo Phone? (This, I may actually be for) Give me a break... I say this a an big fan of HTC devices. MAKE PHONES THAT MATTER AND THAT STAND OUT, like your HTC One.

They barely getting by the way it is. I am sure they will try all those things before going bankrupt.

Problem is that the ONE isn't selling well.
I can't see how HTC is going to be able to top that design.

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An Amazon powered phone is not nearly as ridiculous as you're making it out. They already have a successful tablet line so it's not such a crazy idea for them to want action in the mobile market.

Watch them teach everybody how it's done. Release 3 phones 3 sizes all at once(4.3" 4.7" 5.5"). Not 6 months apart.

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I'll reserve my comment until I see what Amazon does.

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Uh... HTC has already done that. And actually HTC was taught that nobody wants them. Not with an HTC logo on them anyway.

I suppose with HTC they get a company that knows phones and with HTC in the position they are in they can offer Amazon those phones for cheap.

Partnering with HTC would help Amazon get in carriers' stores.

I don't have numbers but I'd guess that's where a vast majority of USA cell phone sales occur.

these Amazon/HTC phones will have:

(1) built-in app for Amazon Prime Video streaming (which is not available to any Android device at this time)

(2) similar pricing to comparable phones from Samsung, LG, or HTC... Amazon will not sell these phones as "cheap" phones

It would make a nice family with the new kindles. It might also save HTC, so there's that.

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I think this could work because of the popularity of the Kindle fire. I don't think HTC has brand recognition, though. If that were true then people other than Android fans would actually recognize the HTC One. They don't. People only recognize the iPhone and the Galaxy S series. Rather, I would say Amazon needs HTC's expertise in this area because HTC does make great phones even if people don't buy them.

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My guess: all phones off contract. Kindle with or without Special Offers will determine price.

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Couldn't this get HTC in trouble with Google & the Open Handset Alliance rules? In order to follow the rules & include Google's apps, HTC can't ship phones with a forked version of Android. I know that kept Acer from shipping phones running Aliyun a while back. (Aliyun is a forked version of Android made by a Chinese company, Alibaba. Alibaba claims Aliyun isn't based on Android, but all the pirated Android apps on its app store beg to differ.)

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Go ahead HTC, get your flail on. I'm not a fan of the Amazon app-store so definitely count me out.

This fits with HTC's history though.

(What brand recognition?)

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Let me break it down for you;
You have a serious shopping problem if you need an Amazon phone.

That is all


I'm not an Amazon fan, but I hope HTC becomes a big success. Competition is good.

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I can tell you that use of this could be huge. My wife uses a Kindle for work travel all the time. If she could have Amazon Instant video on a 5" Kindle Phone, I would be shocked if she didn't want one.

ESPECIALLY if she can buy it at an affordable off contract price for use on Verizon.

The potential here for Amazon is amazing if they follow the Nexus model. The potential for HTC is even greater if they become a good partner to Amazon. Let's say the phone sells very well and a partnership is there. HTC could return as a market contender. In addition, if HTC continues to fail, Amazon could buy them.

I hope Amazon QC's the hell out of these phones. HTC always screws up one major feature..most notably the battery and if they manage to hit one out of the park it could be great for Amazon and HTC. My only caveat is that these phones won't use the Google services. What's the alternate for Maps or is Maps available via the Amazon app store?

Kindle Mini ?!? Probably some sort of bonus package like Free Amazon Prime for a year with unlimited movie and/or book subscription? Something like that I would guess... Just to please it's own Amazon customers and any new customer. Im sure they'll sell.

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