Last week, rumors spread that Amazon is working on launching its own free smartphone to all Prime users sometime this year. We originally got the scoop from former Wall Street Journal reporters Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin. Interestingly, the WSJ reached out to Amazon this past Sunday, where a spokesman flat out denied any rumors of an imminent phone release.
The denial was brief but swift, “We have no plans to offer a phone this year,” said the spokesman in an email to the Wall Street Journal Sunday. “If we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free.”
Amazon has been rumored to be putting the final touches on some kind of smartphone for a couple of years now, its become the e-commerce giant’s fantasy product everyone seemingly wants. However every rumor we hear has little to specifics to when we can expect this unicorn-handset to finally appear. At this point, an Amazon branded smartphone is what iTV is for Apple: hyped and mythical.
We can definitely understand why this rumor is circulating, after all, Amazon does have a fundamental belief in its philosophy of making money off its services, not its hardware. Giving away a cheaply made smartphone (assuming it has to be cheap to avoid huge losses) for free makes all the sense in the world for a company who wants people to stay buying things within its ecosystem.
Hell, Amazon has pretty much done everything aside for releasing its own smartphone, so naturally, it would make sense for the company to venture into this untapped market. More products, mean more ways Amazon can solicit its goods to customers.