Home Your Tech Mobility iPhone 5 wannabe killer: Amazon Kindle phone in Foxconn thriller?

Fresh from trying its hand at the 7-inch tablet and digital content market with the Kindle Fire, Amazon is trying to kindle its own smartphone too, according to reports which, as usual, quote necessarily anonymous people with “knowledge of the matter”.

If there’s one thing that’s certain about anonymous people, it’s that they often have knowledge of matters that are supposed to be secret.

Having knowledge of the “matter” is one thing – if only some of these people had knowledge of the “anti-matter”, some of the Universe’s secrets may well be uncovered – such as how Apple keeps on making devices that people want so much more than those from competitors.

The newest matter to fill the void left by the wait for Apple’s iPhone 5 – and much ballyhooed, but still unofficial, iPad Mini, is that of yet another smartphone, by yet another major Apple competitor.

The news, or rather the latest rumour, comes this time from the hardworking scribes at Bloomberg, who’ve been chatting to people saying things that are supposed to be secret, yet at the same time worth blabbing to a major global news organisation.

The word is that an Amazon Kindle Phone would blend Amazon’s stunning range of digital content, including movies, apps, music, books and more, with Amazon’s amazing online sales operation, in a move that would naturally be expected to replicate the sales success the Kindle Fire has enjoyed – even if the Fire’s fire seems to have cooled down somewhat to ember status.

Even more interesting is the revelation that major Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is the Chinese gadget maker that will indeed make the Kindle Phone, although whether the ultra-hypocritical critics of Apple and Foxconn will now start protesting out the front of Amazon’s HQ and distribution warehouses is yet to be seen.

Amazon is also said to be wanting patents in a defensive move to protect against any future Apple litigation, with Apple famous for its legal “angry bird” eagles happy to furiously swoop, magpie style, over and against anything the crunchy company feels is an action that steals from Apple’s princely pile of patented work.

The question will ultimately come down to the quality of the phone in question, its integration with all of that Kindle content, and whether end-users will be happy with Amazon’s version of an app store, or whether the demand for the real Google Play series of apps is what consumers will ultimately want – no matter how good Amazon’s apps are in comparison.

So, with this year already filled with tablet announcements, 2012 still looks set to deliver a stack of super smartphones and new operating systems, from iOS 6 to Windows 8, from the iPhone 5 to the iPad Mini, from Samsung Galaxy Note 2s to new Windows Phone 8s, and now, Amazon’s own Kindle Phone – hopefully to never burn up through a faulty battery and accidentally create a Kindle Fire Phone sending the wrong kind of smoke signals.

Here's more on the iPhone 5.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.


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