Amazon is said to be showing off prototypes of a handset to developers in San Francisco and Seattle, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The company is likely to announce its intentions of a smartphone to the public in June, with a possible release date coming in September, the report said.
Sources close to Amazon said the company wants to distinguish its new phone from other smartphones currently on the market, the report also said. The phone could be capable of displaying three-dimensional images without the need of special glasses, according to the report.
Such a product would add to the list of areas outside online retailing that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seeks to dominate.This is not the first time speculation about an Amazon smartphone has surfaced. In July 2012, there were reports that electronics manufacturer Foxconn was secretly working on a device for the company. Similarly, last May rumors surfaced that Amazon wanted to add a smartphone to its list of products, complementing its current line of Kindle tablets and e-readers. The news of an Amazon smartphone comes days after the launch of Samsung's Galaxy S5 phone. The S5 features a 5-inch screen. It's also designed to resist wear and tear and can be dunked underwater. Aside from the exterior renovations, though, critics say the phone is very similar to previous Samsung Galaxy models. Meanwhile, many in the tech industry believe that Apple (AAPL) will release a new version of its iPhone in September. Apple may offer models with different screen sizes, but analysts are questioning what sort of software updates new iPhones will have. Amazon made quite a splash recently offering its Amazon Fire TV as an alternative to Apple TV and traditional cable-box viewing. Along with offering traditional video streaming services, Amazon also took a shot at Sony's (SNE) PlayStation and Microsoft's (MSTF) XBOX platforms by offering video games. Amazon may attempt to further distinguish its smartphone launch by undercutting competitors' prices, tapping into the lower-income market.
Whatever strategy Amazon chooses to employ, the company appears to be aiming at disrupting noncore markets this year with obsessive spending on research and innovation.
AMZN data by YCharts At the time of publication, the author had no position in any of the funds mentioned. Follow @macroinsights This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.