There have been plenty of rumors about Amazon’s wishes and hopes to release their own smartphone, including one that HTC was reportedly building them for Amazon. While this wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, seeing as LG has built the last two of Google’s Nexus phones, it doesn’t appear to have been confirmed anywhere or finalized. Especially when you start hearing about the latest Amazon phone rumors and the name, Project Aria. The funny thing about Project Aria is that it bares a very close resemblance to Google’s Project Ara which is their modular smartphone design concept, partly inspired by PhoneBloks.
Now, Amir Efrati of The Information, formerly of the WSJ, reports that Amazon is has been with potential hardware partners to discover who is more capable of producing a truly global phone. These talks between Amazon’s executives and possible hardware partners took place last spring and involved the inclusion of China, European Markets and Latin America as potential global launch areas. And that the phone itself is likely to go on sale sometime this year, since discussions with carriers have already occurred.
I believe that we will likely see an Amazon phone with configurable carrier choices, where you simply order the phone from Amazon and they will ship you the carrier that you wish to use it on, appropriate bands and all. I believe that they will try to build as low-cost a phone as possible while still being able to deliver all of their content to consumers at the best possible performance for the money. As such, I suspect that Amazon could potentially use Intel as their SoC and modem partner if they don’t use Qualcomm like they have in the past with their latest generations of tablets.
There is a very high probability that we’ll get a mainstream-like phone that is affordable for all markets with an approximate price between $200 and $300, maybe even less with some carrier subsidies on Sprint, AT&T or Verizon. I think Amazon’s ultimate goal would be to sell these phones for free if subsidized or for a very low cost unsubsidized. As of right now, however, details are very few and far between and we know very little other than Amazon’s general intentions.