Amazon Planning Smartphone to Rival Apple iPhone: Report
Amazon is making plans to enter the ultracompetitive smartphone market with its own handset, according to Bloomberg.Online retailer Amazons low-cost Kindle Fire shook up the tablet market upon its release in November 2011, and now it looks to be going after Apples best-selling iPhone smartphone with a handset of its own, according to a report from Bloomberg, which quoted two unnamed sources with knowledge of the plans. According to one of the sources, Amazon is working with Chinese handset maker Foxconn to build the device, and Amazon is also reportedly acquiring technology patents to avoid wireless infringement claims. Amazon also recently hired the former senior director of acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management, Matt Gordon, who will take up the post of general manager for patent acquisitions and investments at Amazon, according to Gordons LinkedIn profile page. For four years, he was director of IP licensing at Microsoft. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Amazon has been the subject of 25 patent-related lawsuits in the past two years.
The move into smartphone territory, currently dominated by Apple and Samsung smartphones, would be a natural extension of Amazons strategy with the Kindle Fire, which runs a modified version of Googles Android operating system. It remains to be seen whether Amazon will use Android for a smartphone device. Google Android continued to grow its share in the U.S. smartphone market, accounting for 50.9 percent of smartphone subscribers, while Apple captured 31.9 percent, according to a recent study by IT analytics firm comScore. Samsung was the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.7 percent market share.