Report: Amazon taking another shot at smartphones with "Ice"; Google apps included?

Report: Amazon taking another shot at smartphones with "Ice"; Google apps included?
After its Fire Phone ended up a flop in 2014, Amazon might be feeling confident enough to take on the smartphone industry one more time according to a new report published today. The incredible success of the Amazon Echo smart speaker, combined with the omnipresent AI assistant Alexa, has bolstered the company's presence in the tech industry. The latest rumor revolves around a new line of smartphones allegedly code named "Ice."

Part of the problem with the Fire was the use of a forked version of Android that did not include Google Mobile Services. That meant that the phone did not provide access to the Google Play Store, Gmail and other apps that most Android users take for granted. Amazon uses the same forked version of Android to run its line of tablets.

One of the handsets reportedly being tested carries a screen sized somewhere in between 5.2-inches and 5.5-inches. This model allegedly is equipped with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of native storage and has Android 7.1.1 pre-installed. A Snapdragon 435 chipset is under the hood, carrying an octa-core CPU and the Adreno 505 GPU. A fingerprint scanner is found in back, and the price of this particular model would be $93. Surprisingly, Amazon's Alexa was not found on the device even though it has turned up recently on other handsets like the HTC U11 (in certain regions). Still, the software employed on the phone is not the final version which means that Alexa could still be added before the phone is unveiled.

At this point, it isn't clear whether Amazon will use the Ice name to brand the new handsets. It certainly would be a way to announce to consumers that these are not the same Fire phones that sold less than 35,000 units after it launched in 2014. In the states, the handset launched as an AT&T exclusive. After a period of time, Amazon sold the phone for less than cost just to clear out the inventory from the warehouse.

source: Gadgets360

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