On Friday I shared news of a report from Jessica Lessin’s site that Amazon(s amzn) is planning to launch a free smartphone. On Sunday I received an email from an Amazon spokesman that says, “We [Amazon] have no plans to offer a phone this year, and if we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free.” So consider that rumor squashed.
But Amazon is notoriously tight-lipped about its plans for future products, so at the very least this response offers more official information about a phone from Amazon than we’ve heard in the past. It is clear that Amazon will not be releasing a phone this year, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility we’ll be seeing one in the future. And while any potential phone from Amazon will not be free, it is still possible for it be highly subsidized with a subscription to Amazon’s services.
We won’t know any of this for sure until at least next year. But if Amazon is planning plan to launch a phone in the future, it will need an innovative strategy in order to makes waves in an already crowded, competitive field.