Saturday01 April 2023

An Amazon Phone Is Not Likely, But LTE Enabled Kindles Are...

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Hot on the heels of the rumor that Facebook was going to release a phone we saw another rumor popup that Amazon would be the next contender for a branded smartphone. These rumors were fueled further when Brandon Watson left Microsoft for Amazon in February.  Watson had been in charge of the developer experience for Windows Phone 7 and now is one of the people that help to push the Kindle app out to multiple devices.

Now it seems that another Windows Phone executive has bailed on Microsoft (rats leaving the ship?) and headed to Amazon. This time it is Windows Phone Business development lead Robert Williams. Do these two moves actually mean that

Amazon is going to enter the smart phone market? Our money is on no. What these two positions appear to be related to has very little to do with the actual building or development of a phone. On the business development side you have an executive that would be charged with building stronger business ties for existing products and devices. This would include getting software integrated into more hardware and devices.  The same thing can be said for Watson who now has the job of extending the Kindle software to other people’s products. Amazon clearly wants their line of e-readers and “tablets” to do better in the market and since Microsoft now owns the Nook brand through a secondary company Amazon rightly feels they have to directly compete with Microsoft. Pulling executives from that same team is a smart move. It will not net them any trade secrets, but it will get them a mindset.

What we do expect to see is a renewed push by Amazon on the Kindle. We know they are planning several new models to compete with the Nook and other 7-inch tablets in the market including the Nexus 7. One of these is now rumored to have LTE functionality, which puts that device firmly in the lap of Robert Williams (he would be the one to pitch this to the carriers as well).

If (and it is a BIG IF) Amazon is thinking about a phone it is a long time off. Instead we expect them to try and move the Kindle into the cellular arena with LTE models first. We would not be surprised to hear that they are considering nVidia’s Tegra 2 with LTE (Project Grey) which would certainly fit the rumors about a 2013 release date for the “phone”. In the next few months the battle ground for your tablet money (non-x86) will end up at your local carriers. More and more people want to have that always connected feature for their tablets and the device makers are going to have to push to get that in as soon as possible so they can keep up with consumer demand.

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Last modified on Friday, 13 July 2012 14:18

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