Amazon says it won't offer a free smartphone, after all

Amazon says it won't offer a free smartphone, after all

Move into smartphone market complicated by manufacturers agreements with Googke

A spokesperson for online powerhouse Amazon has denied reports that the company plans to offer a free smartphone to consumers, saying that no handsets will be released in 2013, and that it wouldn't be free in any case.

According to the Wall Street Journal reporters that broke the story originally, Amazon's statement was light on the details, with the company opting instead to keep its cards close to its chest.

[MORE ANDROID:What time is it? It's smartwatch time!]

Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati noted in the original story that one factor complicating Amazon's long-rumored move into the smartphone market is the number of manufacturers that have agreements in place with Google requiring them to build only Android devices approved by the search engine giant.

It's thought that any smartphone developed by Amazon will use the same open-source version of Android as the company's Kindle Fire line of tablets, which don't include Google's proprietary core apps.

This is far from the first time rumours of an Amazon phone have made the rounds over the course of the last year or two, buzz about a supposed smartphone release has been nearly constant. As with the Kindle tablets, the idea would be to draw new customers into Amazon's content ecosystem streaming movies and TV shows via Amazon Prime, etc. rather than making a killing on device sales outright, a la Apple.

However, those tablets haven't made a substantial dent in the worldwide market, despite aggressive pricing, according to IDC. Part of the problem may be the Amazon App Store, which has failed to gain much traction, even with availability on non-Amazon devices and well-publicized free app giveaways.

Email Jon Gold at and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Follow Us

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesGooglewirelessNetworkingconsumer electronicsanti-malwarewall street journal


ARN Innovation Awards 2022

Innovation Awards is the market-leading awards program for celebrating ecosystem innovation and excellence across the technology sector in Australia.

EDGE 2022

EDGE is the leading technology conference for business leaders in Australia and New Zealand, built on the foundations of collaboration, education and advancement.

Show Comments