Amazon Rumored to Offer Its First Smartphone For Free
It has been rumored that Amazon has been plotting a move into the smartphone segment and the online retail giant may have just the trick to help it make a splash in that Apple/Samsung-dominated market: offering the smartphone to customers for free. Jessica Lessin cites sources familiar with efforts in saying that the company wants to offer a free smartphone to consumers.
The free strategy is still in the planning stages according to Lessin. One of Amazonís biggest concerns at the moment is reportedly getting the carriers on board with the plan. Telecoms regularly offer older and cheaper phone models for free, provided a customer signs up for a two-year contract agreement, but Amazon wants the phone to be free with or without a contract.
As with the itís Kindle Fire tablets, any smartphone from Amazon would run a forked version of Android, one with all of Googleís services removed and running Amazonís own services instead. Amazon sells these devices as well as its line of dedicated Kindle e-readers, almost at cost, with the plan being to make the money back selling goods and services to the customer. The free smartphone plan would be a similar mindset though how viable that plan is remains to be seen.
The rumors of Amazon planning to launch a smartphone in 2013 remerged early this year. The rumors first centered around a device with a 4.7-inch screen, while later reports had the handset implementing a glasses-free holographic 3D display. The phone has yet to materialize in any form but itís possible that Amazon will show it off when it reveals the next-gen Kindle Fire devices, which have yet to be announced and released.
Source: Jessica Lessin