An Amazon Smartphone In The Making?

Flush with the success of its Kindle lineup and the launch of the Kindle Fire, is Amazon quietly working on a new surprise – an Amazon smartphone?

Yes, say Citigroup analysts Mark Mahaney and Kevin Chang. They are basing their Amazon smartphone prediction on “supply chain channel checks in Asia.” They believe that manufacturing the phone will cost Amazon about $150 to $170 per handset, and will be sold at cost or below, much like Amazon has done with the Amazon Fire. If that’s the case, we might expect the smartphone to tie in to Amazon content in much the same way that the Kindle Fire does.

The phone will likely launch late in 2012, said the analysts, and will use Texas Instruments processors and Qualcomm baseband chips. The analysts did not speculate on what carrier the Amazon smartphone might sold on. However, Amazon currently delivers e-books via 3G on AT&T, so that may play a factor.

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