amazon phone

We’ve been hearing about Amazon’s plans for the smartphone space for years now—at least since 2011. Pundits feel that since the tech giant has already waded into the hardware waters with a tablet, a handset is the obvious next step.

But the chatter has really picked up over the past week or so, with the Financial Times, and now Bloomberg, reporting that Amazon has been in talks with HTC since June to develop handsets for sale to users of Amazon’s Prime service…

Here’s Bloomberg:

“ Inc. (AMZN), the world’s biggest e-commerce company, and HTC Corp. (2498)have been in talks since at least June to develop handsets for sale to users of the Amazon Prime service, according to two people familiar with the talks.

A final decision hasn’t been made on whether to proceed with a product or when it would be delivered, the people said, asking to not be identified because the talks are private. Amazon wants to increase the number of devices that can access its Amazon Instant Video service and seeks to sell phones through subscriptions with carriers, one of the people said.”

And for additional context, here is the Financial Times:

Amazon is working with HTC to develop a range of smartphones as the e-commerce company steps up efforts to compete with Apple and Google, according to people familiar with the project.

One of the three devices discussed by the two companies is at an advanced stage of development, according to one person, but another warned that the timeline for launch has been changed before and Amazon may yet decide not to release the device.” 

We’ve seen a wide range of rumors regarding Amazon’s smartphone project over the years. Last December, the handset was said to have entered production at Foxconn, and one report claimed the tech giant would make the phone free.

Last month, Amazon introduced the new Kindle Fire HDX tablet, and is said to be planning to release an Apple TV- competitor soon. But the smartphone space—which is dominated by Apple and Samsung—is a whole different ballgame.

What do you think, can/will Amazon do a smartphone soon?