Amazon working with HTC on new smartphone line?

Amazon working with HTC on new smartphone line?
The rumor that never dies is back, and this time it has added a partner. On Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that Amazon is indeed working on a smartphone line. This is a rumor that has been around for a couple of years, and every time it pops up, Amazon knocks it down like one of those "Whack-A-Mole" games you undoubtedly have encountered at some point in your life. One rumor called for Amazon to issue free phones to consumers while another had the company working on a smartphone with a 3D interface.

This time there is a major difference. Taiwan based manufacturer HTC is said to be working with the Kindle Fire producer on these new handsets. According to the Financial Times, the phone line wouldn't launch until 2014. When asked to comment on the rumors of an Amazon built smartphone, all the company would say is that it has "no plans to offer a phone this year." HTC's chief of marketing, Ben Ho, said that the company is "always exploring new opportunities."

Amazon is hoping that by adding phones to its hugely successful tablet line, it can bring more shoppers to its website. Amazon has actually become a tech manufacturer of note thanks to its line of Amazon Kindle Fire tablets. Using a forked version of Android, the slates have no Google apps. Amazon practically created the low-priced 7 inch Android tablet sector back in 2011. It is thought that while Amazon takes a loss on each slate sold, it makes it back by selling content, apps and cloud based storage.

HTC started life as a contract manufacturer of phones, producing the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 and the T-Mobile G1 among others. The company has become a manufacturer of handsets under its own name, although it has fallen on hard times and recently announced its first ever quarterly operating loss. Perhaps a return to its roots is what the company needs.

source: FinancialTimes via TechCrunch

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