Amazon Kindle Phone - In Hand

Yesterday the Financial Times reported that HTC and Amazon are working on three new phones together, the first of which is already in advanced stages and headed to the market soon – though likely sometime next year. We imagine the handset will follow in the footsteps of Amazon's Kindle Fire devices, with quick and easy access to Amazon's ecosystem of apps and services, in addition to custom software. But it may not be available for everyone.

Bloomberg said Wednesday that it has learned HTC and Amazon have been discussing the new smartphones since June, and that the goal could be to only sell the devices to Amazon Prime subscribers. Unlocked devices sound out of the question, too, since Bloomberg said Amazon will work with carriers to sell the phones on contract – provided that the customer subscribes to Amazon Prime. Why?

Bloomberg said the online retailer wants more Instant Video subscribers, and that service requires Prime. A great smartphone could entice customers to buy an Amazon phone and ultimately lead them into Instant Video, though it's unclear why Amazon specifically wants more users on that service since it's currently ad-free. Amazon Prime costs $79 per year.

TechnoBuffalo reached out to HTC for comment on the original story yesterday, to which a company spokesperson said it doesn't comment on rumors or speculation.