Amazon reportedly working on an 'Ice' smartphone lineup with Play Store access

After the dumpster fire that was the Fire Phone, it looks like Amazon is planning to re-enter the smartphone segment with a new lineup of devices codenamed "Ice." Citing two sources familiar with the matter, Gadgets 360 states that the Ice smartphones will be targeted at emerging markets like India. Unlike the Fire Phone, they will run the latest version of Android with Google Mobile Services enabled, allowing customers to download apps and games from the Play Store.

According to the report, at least one phone in the Ice lineup will be debuting in India before the end of the year, with Amazon eyeing the sub-$100 (₹6,000) price point. Alleged specs include a screen size between 5.2 and 5.5 inches, Snapdragon 435 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage, 13MP camera, Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and a fingerprint sensor at the back.

The report also claims that Amazon's upcoming phone will offer Google Assistant out of the box and not Alexa. Amazon's AI assistant isn't available in the country yet, but with the Echo slated to launch sometime later this year, the virtual assistant is expected to make its way into the Ice phone in time for its debut.

Amazon managed to sell fewer than 35,000 units of the Fire Phone, but the retailer's strategy with the Ice lineup may pay off. By targeting the entry-level segment, Amazon can market its devices to a broader audience, and providing access to the Play Store and Google's apps puts it on an equal footing with the Chinese contingent of Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and others.

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Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • Any company that makes a phone with Google Play Services can't make another device - outside China - that doesn't have Play Services. I wonder if this means they'll add Play Services to their Fire tablets.
  • I'm curious what you mean. Is there some contractual thing that demands Android Play services are on their devices? Or are you just suggesting this sets a precedence?
  • i would have to dig around for it, but it's part of the agreements that Google has when companies use the Google Play services (which are closed source, and 100% separate from Android as far as code and license agreements)
  • That would make the Fire tablet way more attractive.
  • With those specs for that price I don't see why this couldn't succeed.
  • I can see the board meeting:
    "The Fire phone was a disaster. We've got to do the exact opposite for our next phone.
    What's the opposite of Fire?"
  • Nice comment lol. I just got my mom an S8+ to retire her fire phone she loved it.
  • Nice comment lol. I just got my mom an S8+ to retire her fire phone she loved it.
  • I think Amazon has a Pokemon addiction. What's next and Emerald, Diamons and Sapphire Edition?
  • Really? They make a Fire and Ice phone and your first reference is Pokemon? I wager Water didn't sound a nice as Ice so they just went with that. I also wager that they'd go with Earth or Wind, which are elements, before any of your gemstones lol.
  • I'd certainly go with an Earth, Wind and Fire phone...
  • Surely ice and fire makes you think of GoT?
  • Adding play services could really help these sell. And don't make it one carrier exclusive again.
  • It was overpriced. AT&T has like a 160 MILLION customers for wireless alone. Now add DirecTV, Spectrum & all their other crap & it's a lot higher. People on here will never figure out how small minded they are as they've never actually WORKED in the business. Same goes for Andrew, as far as I know, he's some schmuck who thinks he's royalty & writes poorly written articles with little fact. Michael Fisher should be running this shi* show now. It's a disgrace.
  • Bring it
  • Will this phone melt in the Indian heat?
  • So we had Fire and now we have Ice? Seriously? I smell disaster again.....
  • George Martin is gonna sue.
  • At least Amazon will have it's product out in a specified time..
  • I think the opposite. The Amazon Tablets are pretty solid for its price. If they go along the line and the Play Store is there, I see no reason to fail.
  • Hold it right there, Amazon. Sent from my Sony Xperia X Compact
  • A Song of Ice and Fire