ONLINE RETAIL GIANT Amazon reportedly has selected HTC to build a range of Android handsets as it prepares to challenge Apple and Google in the smartphone market.
Rumours about Amazon entering the smartphone market have been circulating for years, and it looks like they will soon come true.
Amazon reportedly has teamed with HTC, with the two firms working together on three Android phones, one of which is now in the "advanced stages of development," according to the Financial Times (paywalled).
Amazon told the Financial Times that it has "no plans to offer a phone this year", suggesting that it might release a handset in the future. An Amazon spokesperson added, "We have been very focused on building our own brand, but we have also been very open to co-branding and collaborating with carriers and other technology brands."
HTC declined to comment on the speculation, but if the rumour is true, the news is likely a big deal for the Taiwanese phonemaker. It hasn't had much success with partnerships thus far, with its HTC First Facebook phone, for example, having been dropped just a few months after release. HTC also posted its first ever loss earlier this year, and it's likely that a partnership with Amazon would improve the company's cash flow.
It remains unclear what we can expect from Amazon's initial smartphone devices, but previous speculation suggested that the firm was working on at least one handset with a 3D display. There's also talk that Amazon will offer one of its handsets for free, with plans to make its cash back on the bundled software features, like the Amazon Kindle and its shopping application.
It's also unclear when Amazon's first smartphone devices will appear, but we think that's likely in 2014. µ
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