Amazon has been kicking around the idea of releasing its own smartphone for a while now. It makes sense; the company already offers a line of Kindle tablets, and adding a handset to the family would help bring even more people into its online ecosystem of services and retail. Well, according to a new report the first Amazon smartphone may finally be on the way, and even better it could be totally free whether you get it on or off-contract. That would require some sort of catch, though: Amazon won’t just give these away, but it does break even on the Kindle Fire and make its profits off of content sales.
Jessica Lessin reports that Amazon has met with multiple wireless carriers to discuss the idea of a free smartphone, though the rumored Kindle handset would still likely be sold through the company’s own website. The device’s possible launch window is still a mystery, suggesting that the company remains a long way from releasing the physical product.
Rumors that Amazon is working on a smartphone date back about two years, when the company began discussing the idea and the rumors began to flow. More recently, a report from earlier this year suggested the company is actually working on two devices, a mid-range handset with a 4.7-inch display, and a high-end model with a 3D screen. Unfortunately, it sounds like we’re still pretty far from seeing Amazon actually release its first smartphone.