Amazon has long been said to be working on a smartphone carrying its brand, and it looks like it HTC could be its hardware partner.
That’s according to a report from the Financial Times, which cites people familiar with the project in saying that three different smartphones are currently in development with one being “at an advanced stage of development.”
“We have been very focused on building our own brand, but we have also been very open to co-branding and collaborating with carriers and other technology brands,” HTC chief of marketing Ben Ho told the Financial Times, but declined to comment on any specific relationship with Amazon.
Shipping a phone with both the HTC and Amazon logos would mean more than just branding for the phone, as Amazon would be able to take over much of the Android operating system experience as it has done with the Kindle Fire tablets. HTC partnered with Facebook earlier this year for the not-so-popular-now HTC First featuring Facebook Home, but borrowing software features from the Kindle Fire like Mayday, an Amazon support service for users, could prove valuable to both HTC and Amazon and be very appealing to new users in a saturated smartphone market.
One report earlier this year believed Amazon could be working on a completely free smartphone, but Amazon was quick to reset consumer and investor expectations and deny plans for pursuing such an aggressive model. Another report has said Amazon could implement glasses-free 3D displays as well as retina tracking technology in its smartphones, features which have proven gimmicky for competitors.
Most recently, we reported Amazon trademarking ‘Firetube’ in the US and Canada, which we suggested would be an appropriate product name for its rumored Apple TV competitor.