Amazon smartphone could be given away free

Good news for cheapskates, Amazon could be giving oat its next smartphone for free.

That's according to an exclusive from journalists Amir Efrati and Jessica E. Lessin, who claim the much-rumoured Kindle smartphone will be a loss leader when it finally does launch. That's free of charge completely by the way, not free as in UK contract 'free', where you pay for the phone in the contract price.

But this is no charitable step. The price may be paid elsewhere. Amazon could tie in purchase with its Amazon Prime subscription service or it could make its cash by tying the phones to its store - both app and media.

Whether it happens depends on various things, not least working out deals with hardware partners. But if it does work, it could really shake up the handset market, dragging down the price of mobile phone hardware. Amazon can afford for that to happen, as can Google to some extent, Apple could, but is unlikely to want that to happen due to its reputation for premium hardware. It also makes 51 per cent of its revenue via iPhone sales.

Other manufacturers might also see this as a severe threat to their business. If money is made strictly through hardware sales, the idea of super-cheap or free phones will send shockwaves through the boardrooms.

Whether it will happen, only time will tell. After initially staying quiet, an Amazon spokesman has issued a cryptic statement saying that Amazon isn’t going to be releasing a phone this year and if it does, it 'would not be free'. That's denying a release, then adding a proviso in case it did.

We honestly don't know what to believe. But we do think an Amazon smartphone is coming, whatever the cost.

Sources: Jessica Lessin and The Next Web

Written by Mobile Choice
Mobile Choice

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