Foxconn prepping the conveyor belts for Microsoft and Amazon branded smartphones next year
Foxconn, the Apple and other smartphone brands assembler for hire, has reportedly received orders for putting together Microsoft and Amazon-branded handsets. Those vertically integrated phones are expected to hit the market by mid-2013, but if and when are they going to be announced is anyone's guess.
The rumors that Microsoft will come up with a phone of its own, similar to what it did with the Surface tablets has been around for a while, and, while on one hand saying that it doesn't make sense to make one, on the other the CEO Steve Ballmer has been indicating that Microsoft will swoop in and make its own hardware in areas where it sees a niche that is not filled by its partner manufacturers.
As far as Amazon goes, it already makes its Kindle slates, and a phone with its own brand of Android might be in the works, too, probably subsidized or sold at cost like the tablets, with the hope of tying more people into the retail giant's ecosystem.