Rumor: Amazon working with Foxconn to launch smartphone in Q4 2012

By Lee Kaelin on July 6, 2012, 10:00 AM

Late last year rumors pointed at the possibility that Amazon was considering entering the smartphone market with the aim to release a handset in time for Christmas 2012. At the time the e-retailer was linked with Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn with sources even revealing it would likely be powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor.

Now, more rumors have surfaced thanks to two sources with knowledge of the matter talking to Bloomberg.

The two sources, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private, said work is underway with Foxconn and that the online-retailer is seeking to complement its smartphone strategy by acquiring patents that cover wireless technology in case its subjected to allegations of patent infringement.

The news follow the recent hiring by Amazon of Matt Gordon, formerly director of acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, which owns more than 35,000 IP assets. He will take his place at the retailing giant as general manager of patent acquisitions and investments.

A smartphone makes sense, as it would give Amazon a wider portfolio of low-priced hardware devices to further bolster its income strategy with digital books, music and movies. Amazon will also be keen to carve out its own slice of the market currently dominated by Apple's iPhone and handsets running Google's Android mobile OS in an industry with shipments expected to increase to a staggering 1.6 billion units by 2016.

Amazon did not respond to requests for further comment on the rumors.

User Comments: 8

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Don't break any of Apple's or Samsung's patents they will come after you.

Tanstar said:

Don't break any of Apple's or Samsung's patents they will come after you.

I was going to post, "So Apple can immediately sue them", but you beat me to the idea

ikesmasher said:

yey, a touch screen ebook with phone and app features on the side!

no but seriously, I want to see how this turns out.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The million dollar question for Foxconn: Is Amazon the kind of company that will stab you in the back?

Emexrulsier said:

It's not surprising they teaming with Foxconn seeing as they manufacturer virtually everything out there. They themselves manufacture the iphone, all 3 generation gaming consoles consoles, many many motherboards and ram, virtually every HP branded item.

Guest said:

It's IS surprising they're teaming with Foxconn seeing as they don't manufacturer virtually everything out there. They themselves don't actually manufacture the iphone, any 3 generation gaming consoles consoles, any many motherboards or ram, or any HP branded items. Otherwise I agree totally.

Emexrulsier said:

errr I think you find they do full assemble and manufactur the wii, playstatation3, xbox360, around 70 percent of HP/Compaq hardware, a large majority of the Apple hardware from pods to pads. Do you research bud.

Emexrulsier said:

Oh and a small quote for you

"Foxconn is primarily an original design manufacturer, and its clients include major American, European and Japanese electronics and information technology companies. Notable products which the company manufactures include the iPad, iPhone, Kindle, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360."

They are also contracted for the Wii U.

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