ONLINE RETAILER Amazon has refuelled speculation that it's looking to enter the smartphone market, having hired an ex-GM of Microsoft's Windows Phone unit.
Charlie Kindel, who describes himself as a "general troublemaker in the tech and mobile space", has as worked at Microsoft for 20 years - most recently as general manager of the firm's Windows Phone division. Kindel left Microsoft in 2011 to launch his own startup, Bizlogr, and has now been hired by Amazon.
No this isn't an April Fool's joke, Amazon really has hired somebody with the surname Kindel. We're not sure whether his name had something to do with his switch to the company, but Charlie did joke that Amazon has hired him to head the "Amazon Kindle Charlie" home server initiative.
While that joke quickly wore off, it's still unclear exactly what he will be doing at the company, with Kindel posting to his Linkedin profile that he's working on something "secret". However, Kindel did seem to hint that he will be working with Amazon on a smartphone, saying he's going after a "totally new area" for the firm.
"I'm building a new team going after a totally new area for Amazon," Kindel said. "I'm hiring cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers, and product managers."
"Amazon presented an opportunity to build something new that has ginormous potential. I simply couldn't pass the opportunity up. As a double bonus, the idea that I can work in such a principled and customer focused company is really exciting to me."
While chatter about an Amazon smartphone is little more than that, rumours suggest that it will be revealed next year - giving Kindel plenty of time to exert his influence ahead of its supposed launch. µ