By Mae Anderson
NEW YORK -- A recent report in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon (AMZN) is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.
Amazon hasn't confirmed that it has plans for a smartphone. Introducing such a device would be tough in a crowded market dominated by Apple (AAPL) and Samsung. Even so, innovations like the Kindle Fire and Prime membership program demonstrate that the online retailing giant has a knack for using its massive size and marketing budget to capitalize on gaps in the marketplace.
Some unconfirmed reports say the phone could have a 3-D interface and multiple front-facing cameras.
Here's a look at five features that technology experts believe Amazon might include on its smartphone.
1. 3-D Shopping
A 3-D interface, which doesn't require special glasses, could have a lot of uses. For example, when you're shopping online, you could pull up a 3-D image of sneakers or a jacket and see all of the features easier, suggests Bill Menezes, principal research analyst at Gartner. Another possibility: You could scan your living room to make a 3-D rendering. Then, when you're out furniture shopping, take a picture and digitally insert the product into the rendering to see if it fits.
"You could see 'Oh that's how that purple couch looks in the bedroom; I think I'll buy it,' and you avoid buyer's remorse," says Ramon Llamas, research manager of research firm IDC's mobile phones team.