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Often rumored Amazon Smartphone may be free off-contract

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Often rumored Amazon Smartphone may be free off-contract
We've been hearing rumors about an Amazon smartphone for a long time now, but we have yet to hear any official word about a device, or even see a viable leak that would make us believe the device is anything but vaporware. Of course, a new report is saying once again that the Amazon smartphone not only exists, but that Amazon wants it to be free.

And, we're not talking about free on contract; we mean free off-contract. The report comes from former Wall Street Journal journalists Amir Efrati and Jessica E. Lessin, who say that Amazon's plan is to offer the phone for free, although it's unclear if the plan would require a user have an Amazon Prime subscription or not. But, there's no guarantee that Amazon will even be able to pull off this plan. 

Word is that Amazon has been talking to carriers, but would more likely end up selling the smartphone directly through its site. The plan to essentially give the phone away for free would also be dependent on deals that Amazon would make with whatever hardware company helps to manufacture the device. Amazon would obviously be looking to undercut the competition as a way to draw users to its own ecosystem, since it controls its own Appstore and content stores.

The last time we heard about the Amazon smartphone it was an incredibly odd rumor reported through Wall Street Journal which said the company was planning two different smartphones, and that one of them would have a 3D display. We're really hoping that plan has been scrapped, since the 3D fad is essentially over. 

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posted on 06 Sep 2013, 16:40 4

1. Commentator (Posts: 2180; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


I'll take eight!

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 16:45

2. trickster_qc (Posts: 78; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


Free works for me

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 16:46

3. rallyguy (Posts: 432; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


This sounds awesome for people that only want to talk and text on a phone.

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 16:48 2

4. TheLolGuy (Posts: 469; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


I doubt Amazon will do this. This will instantly be sold out by scalpers, be rooted to remove Amazon's OS and sold off. Then consumers will continue and pirate the hell out of EVERYTHING.

They would be underestimating how exploitative customers can be, especially if you do something stupid as giving out hardware for free, literally. Thats why this rumor is stupid and absolutely untrue.

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 16:59 1

7. cvanlone (Posts: 4; Member since: 16 Dec 2011)


How would scalpors buy all the free phones???

And then assuming it requires you to have amazon prime, wouldn't that mean they need to have that many prime accounts?

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 17:28 1

9. TheLolGuy (Posts: 469; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Thats exactly it. This rumor doesn't make any mention of locking you into a Prime subscription. This is just assumptions on our own end.

If people are dying for a free phone that already says a lot about their spending habits and how much and what they're willing to spend money on. If they want a free phone off contract you can bet they're (at the very least more likely) to be someone who is a chronic torrenter and will find ways to circumvent digital content payment.

I love companies who can sell things at-cost or at smaller margins than the status quo -- it feels good to get a great device at a great price. But giving it away at a total loss is foolish and is not going to happen.

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 16:49

5. a_merryman (Posts: 546; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


Put me down for 10! Need some backups and stocking stuffers, I guess.

I'd imagine it is free if you get a Prime account for a certain amount of time, otherwise this just makes no sense. "2-3 years Prime account and get a free Android phone" makes sense to me, and would be a great deal. 2-day shipping and access to Amazon's instant video on the phone they gave me for signing up? Yes please.

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 16:57 1

6. TheLolGuy (Posts: 469; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


If they're going the 'free' route I'm sure they'll probably have you make a multi-year commitment to Prime or something. Which is fine considering the benefits and how its useful if you use Amazon at all anyways.

It doesn't stop customers from having their phone rooted, probably replacing Amazons stuff with the Play Store or Ubuntu and blowing off Amazon's digital offerings.

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 17:01 1

8. a_merryman (Posts: 546; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


Yeah, it really is the only way they could do this. Which is good, they're basically giving me a free phone for something I want anyway. Prime is already a great deal.

I know I would root it. I would keep stuff like Kindle and the Amazon App store on though, love that free app of the day that they do...not sure if they still do it. They would always give away great ones, it was how I got Plant vs. Zombies back when I had android and it came out.

I only buy apps for android through the play store though. And keep in mind that Prime isn't just about digital offerings, the 2-day shipping upgrade would definitely make me far more likely to buy a lot more things through Amazon.

posted on 07 Sep 2013, 00:09 4

10. GeekMovement (Posts: 1497; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


nothing is "free", there's going to be a catch to it.

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