5 Features That an Amazon Smartphone Might Offer

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.

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