Fueling the fire surrounding the rumored Amazon phone, The Wall Street Journal made a report early this morning saying that Amazon is “working with component suppliers in Asia to test a smartphone.” According to people familiar with the situation, Amazon is currently considering expanding its mobile offerings, and that these could include the recently speculated iPhone competitor. To back up these rumors, the Journal has reported that unnamed officials who work with Amazon’s part suppliers have also commented, saying that Amazon is testing a smartphone, and that mass production could begin “late this year, or early next year.”
Last Friday, we reported that Amazon — creator of the iPad-rival tablet, the Kindle Fire — was working with Asian component manufacturer Foxconn to make a smartphone. Rumors say that the Seattle-based company plans to compete with the iPhone and devices that run Google’s Android operating system, aiming to make a dent in the smartphone market. At the time of Bloomberg‘s announcement, this was the first we had heard of this rumor, but it could be only a matter of time before Amazon releases a new piece of hardware.
The Kindle Fire, which released in November of last year, was Amazon’s first departure into the tablet market and its first electronic device outside of the iconic E Ink book readers. Amazon has shown a strong foothold in this market, with the Kindle Fire widely considered the best “budget” tablet for the greater part of this year. Google’s Nexus 7 will likely be firm competition, but Amazon has definitely shown that it is not a force to be reckoned with, and will undoubtedly release a quality product if these “Amazon phone” rumors turn out to be true.