It's no real secret any more that Amazon is working on a smartphone, but new reports suggest that the smartphone may be ready for prime time much, much sooner than expected. How soon? Well, some reports peg the smartphone as so ready that it could be announced at a Kindle event in Los Angeles slated for today.
The Amazon smartphone is said to be quite a bit like the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, in that it runs an altered version of Android, and Google Maps has reportedly been overthrown in favor of Nokia's (News - Alert) mapping application. It's also been speculated that Amazon may only be using Nokia's mapping data for its own app, especially in light of a recent purchase in the form of 3D mapping company UpNext, which is also entirely possible. Amazon reps wouldn't comment on the report, which, given the imminence of launch, makes perfect sense.
Image via www.amazon.com
The reports further states that the smartphone isn't finished yet, so there's a chance that the phone may not be shown off at all during today's event. It also may be shown off, but not given the full run of a dog-and-pony show but rather a very carefully staged demonstration, specifically geared to avoid the not-working parts. But since the report has such a very narrow time window on it, it's likely to be proven right or wrong one way or the other in a very short time span.
An Amazon smartphone might be exactly what Amazon needs to really get going. The Kindle Fire has exhibited very clearly the power of an inexpensive tablet, but a smaller device--one that can be carried in a pocket unlike most every tablet available--may be just what's needed to truly replace the print book. Amazon's robust media offerings have proven to be a great asset for the Kindle Fire, and though the smartphone may not be so friendly in terms of video, for books and music a smartphone will likely do the job that, and possibly even better than, a tablet can.
Only time will tell if this newest report is going to prove accurate, but it makes a lot of sense for Amazon to go smartphone, and this is likely a development that will be well-received among the device-buying public.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman