On 18 June Amazon will hold a media event where it is expected to announce its first ever smartphone. But in a bid to stand out from the Android crowd, Amazon’s phone will offer a glasses-free 3D experience where the user interface reacts to the position of the phone and the user’s face.
A steady supply of leaks over the last few months means we have a good idea of what the Amazon phone will look like, and it was even shown very briefly during the company’s own teaser video announcing the press event. We’re expecting a 4.7-inch, 720p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 2GB of RAM.
Nothing special there, but the real magic will be in the 3D technology, which is claimed to use the phone’s accelerometer and a number of infrared 3D cameras to work out the phone’s position in relation to the user’s face.
Tilting the phone and move your face is thought to make the user interface move around slightly, letting you peek around corners at hidden content, for example. We still don’t know what Amazon will do with this feature, so there should be plenty of surprises when the presentation gets underway.
We fully expect the Amazon phone to run a heavily modified version of Android with the company’s own interface over the top - just like the Kindle Fire tablet range. This will act as a storefront for Amazon’s vast digital catalogue of TV shows, films, music and more.
Price and availability
Amazon loves to keep hardware cheap. Its Kindle Fire tablet range has always been price cheaply because the company knows it can make more cash from selling digital content to tablet users - that, and the adverts placed on the lock screen, removable only after paying an extra £10.
We expect Amazon’s phone to follow the same business model, meaning a low price offset by money earned from selling adverts and content to the handset after the initial sale is made.
As for availability, Amazon has always taken a US-first approach to hardware. The original Kindle ebook reader never arrived in the UK, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the phone take a similar route.
All will be revealed at the event, which kicks off at 6:30pm UK time, 18 June.