Amazon could launch a smartphone this year that costs “a fraction” of what Apple charges for its iPhone, a new report says.
Amir Efrati at The Information spills details from an allegedly leaked internal Amazon document. The paperwork is said to have been produced by a potential partner and two people who were involved in discussions with Amazon. According to Efrati, the document discussed strategies for penetrating smartphone markets in China, Europe and the United States. Earlier discussions also mentioned Latin America as a possibility.
The phone, which has been referred to as “Project Aria,” is likely to go on sale this year, according to Efrati.
There’s no specific price, but he says Amazon is “determined” to “keep the phone at a small fraction of the iPhone’s $US550-and-up price tag.”
If Amazon does launch a smartphone this year, it’s unclear if it will fall under the company’s own brand or if it will work with a partner. Efrati says Amazon was “in talks” with “multiple hardware partners” last year about bringing the device to market, but there’s no confirmation that it will stick with this plan.
The Seattle-based online retail giant has been rumoured to enter the smartphone market for quite some time.
Previous reports suggested Amazon has two smartphones in its pipeline: a cheaper model and a high-end flagship device. The pricier version is rumoured to come with four built-in cameras that enable 3D eye detection and facial recognition, as TechCrunch reported in October.
The device referred to in the documents obtained by The Information is likely the purported cheaper model, which it says may launch with a 5-inch HD display, a plastic back cover and 16GB of storage space.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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