Amazon reportedly testing a smartphone in Asia

11 Jul 2012

Now seeing increased competition for the low-cost tablet market, Amazon seems to be spreading its wings to the mobile market, and unnamed sources claim the company is testing a device in Asia.

Sources familiar with the situation have told The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is testing a smartphone with component suppliers in Asia – more likely than not, Foxconn, if recent reports are to be believed.

WSJ’s sources said mass production of the new device could begin as early as this year, if not at the beginning of next, and they also revealed the device will have a 4-inch to 5-inch display.

Amazon has already seen manufacturing success with the Kindle Fire, hitting a market that Apple’s high-priced iPad doesn’t. However, the US$199 tablet will now have to compete with the similarly priced Google Nexus 7 and, perhaps, an iPad Mini, if these rumours prove true.

Speculators believe the company’s foray into the smartphone market will see it fill a similar niche, offering low-cost devices that can capture consumers unwilling to spend what high-end smartphones demand.

Smartphone image via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.