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Amazon Reportedly Plans Smartphone 78

AlistairCharlton writes "Online retailer Amazon is developing its own smartphone to take on the Apple iPhone and handsets that run the Google Android operating system, according to media reports 'Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. (2038), the Chinese mobile- phone maker, is working with Amazon on the device, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Amazon is seeking to complement the smartphone strategy by acquiring patents that cover wireless technology and would help it defend against allegations of infringement, other people with knowledge of the matter said.'"
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Amazon Reportedly Plans Smartphone

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  • Patents (Score:2, Insightful)

    ...acquiring patents that cover wireless technology and would help it defend against allegations of infringement...

    Yeah. Innovation. That's what patents drive.

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    Oh wait. I already said that...

    • Re:Patents (Score:5, Funny)

      by alen ( 225700 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @08:57AM (#40562625)

      maybe amazon should hire some engineers and make something new?

      oh wait, that's going to take years and they need something this quarter

      • Re:Patents (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:02AM (#40562639)
        I'm sure Amazon will innovate in information harvesting and content steering with their Kindle phone. I trust Amazon as much as I trust Facebook to design and control my phone.
        • Yes much like Apple harvesting data for its iAD program. But it's OK if Apple does it right?
    • by tsa ( 15680 )

      Such a pity that it has come to this. You can't make a smartphone without infringing patents. That's not entirely what they were meant for.

      • Re:Patents (Score:5, Insightful)

        by alen ( 225700 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @11:02AM (#40564211)

        you can license FRAND patents to connect to the network and make a workable phone. the patent owners have to agree to license them to you at the same rates which they license to everyone else which are pennies per handset.

        its the OS patents you have to worry about

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:02AM (#40562643) Homepage Journal

    It's going to be a great smartphone, it will be very smart, every pixel on it will be personally supervised by Bezos and you'll be able to use the smartphone for everything!

    You can browse Amazon with it.
    You can email to Amazon with it.
    You can buy from Amazon with it.
    You can sell on Amazon with it.
    You can Amazon the Amazon with it.

    It's so great, that they will put Amazon into Amazon because they heard that you like to Amazon while you Amazon.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But id love to get one....What am i waiting for?

    Im not waiting for an Amazon branded smartphone.
    Im not waiting for some specific killer app.
    Im not waiting for iphone 7.0 or whatever number theyre up to.
    Im waiting for an unlimited plan that is closer to $50 a month than it is to $100.

    Yea i know... it'll probably never happen.

    So i'll probably never have a smart phone... no matter who puts their name on them.

    • by ZeroSumHappiness ( 1710320 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:12AM (#40562739)

      Virgin Mobile.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      T-mobile $30/month if you are ok with only 100 minutes of voice. If you also want unlimited minutes it is $60. Only a portion of the data is at 4G(not really 4G , just like the rest of them), but they do not cut you off.

    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
      So you don't currently have a smart phone? How do you know you need an unlimited plan? I just took my first foray into smartphone world about a month ago and found that I don't use nearly as much data as I thought I would. My usage for the first month is just a shade over 2GB and that's using the smartphone like a fiend since it's still a new shiny toy to me. FWIW, the T-Mobile Value plan, Straight Talk, Virgin Mobile, Simple Wireless, and Cricket all have plans with data in the ballpark of $50/mo.
  • The Foxconn monopoly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Torp ( 199297 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:19AM (#40562799)

    Everyone's worried by apple and google and microsoft, but do you notice Foxconn is manufacturing them all? :)

  • OMG (Score:4, Funny)

    by Harold Halloway ( 1047486 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:22AM (#40562837)

    They are going to patent 'One-Click Dialling'!!!

  • Mini Kindle Fire? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ravenscar ( 1662985 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:23AM (#40562847)

    I guess I'll hold judgement until I see an announcement, but a mini Kindle Fire springs to mind. IMO (price aside) the Kindle Fire is the worst of all worlds in the mobile space - laggy and locked down. It's everything I don't want in my next phone. On the bright side, it'll probably be cheap.

    • by Urban Garlic ( 447282 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:41AM (#40563025)

      I'll give you laggy, but locked down? For the mobile space, the Kindle Fire is mostly an ordinary Android device, except that it's got a better eReader app. You can side-load third-party apps without rooting, or you can root it and install the Google Marketplace, or so I've heard.

      Of course, the general lock-downedness of the mobile space is irritating to me, but that's a separate topic.

      • There are plenty of CM7 and CM9 roms available - the device can be wiped completely with sweet sweet CM goodness.
    1. Get hardware from HTC
    2. Throw Android on it
    3. Re-brand everything and/or replace it with your versions
    4. ???
    5. PROFIT!
  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday July 06, 2012 @10:16AM (#40563505) Homepage

    Amazon Plans Smartphone to Rival Apple iPhone and Google Android Devices

    So if it's competing against Android, is it running Android? Or is it running some other OS that Amazon put together?

  • by Picass0 ( 147474 ) on Friday July 06, 2012 @10:22AM (#40563621) Homepage Journal

    I'm less impressed with new phones entering the market. There's a ton of smart phones and everyone can find something they like.

    Where we do need more competition is decent service providers. There's a handful of majors (I won't even go into the pay as you go crap vendors). The majors like Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc... have all settled into a pricing structure where they barely compete. There's no dynamic at work driving the price of service down. If anything, they occasionally increase their prices. I'd like to see someone with the financial means to compete enter the arena and change the game.

    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
      The majors will never be price competitive because they don't have to be. Worst case scenario is that they get out of the retail business and sell service strictly to the MVNOs. And the MVNOs are getting better. They're not all "crap vendors" anymore (though plenty still are). They have incredibly competitive prices and some have even heard of customer service. I personally think as MVNOs improve, the big boys will be more than content to lose market share to them because they'll make money either way.
      • At the end on my contract I decided to go with an MVNO briefly last year. Cox Communications purchased some bandwidth off Sprint and offered a decent pricing bundle for people who already had their cable and high speed internet.

        Cox talked a good game, but they weren't organized. They had difficulties porting my existing phone number. They didn't have a decent selection of phones (I had a HTC Wildfire. A true POS if there ever was one). Their Customer Service people seemed under-trained on the phone. The

        • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
          TracFone and its subsidiaries (Straight Talk, NET10, etc) have been around since 1996. Page Plus began offering cell service in 1998. Virgin Mobile has been around since 2001. Boost has been in the US since 2003. Simple Mobile since 2009. There will be plenty of MVNOs that are here today and gone tomorrow. But at the same time, MVNOs aren't something new and many have built up reasonable track records of success. There are plenty of serious player driving prices down. You just refuse to look at them
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 06, 2012 @11:01AM (#40564193)

    We have the iPhone and we have Android. Unless Amazon intends to develop it's own OS, then their phone is just going to be another Android phone. Oh joy... because it's not like there are any Android phones on the market that allow browsing and shopping with Amazon, are there?

    Seems to me that their interests would be better served by developing apps that run on existing phones that work better than the ones they have out there right now.

  • Apple copied the Kindle and its content-to-device-locking (and named it iPad), so now Amazon can copy the iPhone.

  • Who will come out with a branded smart-phone next -- Walmart? JC Penney?
  • For the record, Foxconn isn't Chinese, its Taiwanese.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein