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Citi Analysts Believe Amazon Will Release Smartphone For 2012 Holidays

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Is Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) planning to release a Kindle smartphone by Christmas next year? Citigroup analysts Mark Mahaney and Kevin Chang say yes, based on their “supply chain channel checks in Asia.”

Citi expects a mid-range smartphone that costs Amazon around $150 to $170 to manufacture, but think Amazon will sell the phone at cost or below, as they are reportedly doing with the Kindle Fire and Kindle 4.

The analysts believe Foxconn International Holdings is currently developing the phone with Amazon, but that the device itself will be manufactured by Hon Hai’s TMS business group, which makes Kindle e-readers and Amazon’s rumored 9-inch tablet.

Mahaney is Citi’s internet research analyst and correctly predicted in May that Amazon would release a sub-$100 Kindle e-reader by the end of 2011. “With the clear success of the Kindle e-Reader over the past 3 years, and Kindle Fire possibly succeeding in the low-priced Tablet market, we view [a smartphone] as the next logical step for Amazon,” he writes.

3 Responses to “Citi Analysts Believe Amazon Will Release Smartphone For 2012 Holidays”

  1. Hi Laura, Do you think Amazon would be likely to produce unlocked phones that use a SIM card? Because that would be huge for people who travel internationally. It’s currently impossible to find a reasonably-priced smart phone that lets you do that.

    • Laura Hazard Owen

      I think it’s too early to say (after all, we don’t even know for sure that they ARE releasing this phone yet!) Based on Amazon’s history, I don’t think facilitating international use of the phone would be a priority for them, though who knows. 

      I liked this SplatF post, in which Dan Frommer speculates on what the phone might be like:

  2. Love Apple, Hate iPhone_etc policy. Love ANDROID .. pads, bigger gadget for older hands and eyes.
    BIG QUESTION, for micro laptop type customers who read, write, libreoffice, some html .. what if any is the future for a pad that allows read write create off line like Libre (was star) Office when NOT in 3/4G/WiFi range, flying in no radiate spaces?  Oh yeah, we’re a splinter market, maybe.