Is Amazon building a smartphone Rumours claim Kindle handset set to launch next yearFirm believed to have signed deal with iPhone maker Foxconn for the gadgetCould run same modified version of Google's Android software as the Fire tabletComes as Amazon boss Jeff Bezos patents airbag protection system for mobiles
12:18 GMT, 18 December 2012
Amazon is rumoured to be launching a smartphone next year to take on Apple and Google.
The firm is believed to have signed a deal with Foxconn, who also make Apple's iPhone, for five million phones to be delivered late next year.
The firm has long been rumoured to be developing 'Kindle phone' to complement its line of e-readers and tablets.
Amazon's Kindle Fire HD tablet: The retail giant is now believed to be developing a phone for its Kindle range
It already has its own app store for the devices, which run a modified version of Google's android software.
'It makes perfect sense, they have seen the Kindle tablet do well, and that was the perfect test bed for a phone,' Stuart Miles of Pocket Lint told MailOnline.
'Judging by its sales figures, it seems a phone launch would be a success.'
'They've got the app store, the music store and the operating system.'
However, Mr Miles believes the Kindle phone is unlikely to be radically different from the competition.
'It'll be a smartphone in the same vein as Apple and Google, with the same look at the tablet,' he said.
However, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has recently patented a radical airbag system for mobile phones.
The system works using a series of air jets to stabilise the phone, while airbags protect it on impact
'Some smartphone parts makers involved
in the supply of Amazon’s new smartphone model, which is scheduled to be
launched between the second quarter and the third quarter of 2013 at a
unit price of US$100-200, said that Foxconn is expected to ship as many
as five million units of the new device in the year, given the fact that
Amazon has shown ambition to extend its business reach to the
fast-growing market after succeeding in diversifying from e-books and
readers to tablet PCs to drive its growth,' claims the Taiwan Economic News.