While Amazon is largely known for its online retailing business, the company may be set to add to its hardware line-up with reports of a new Amazon smartphone slated for release as early as June.
The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that the company has been "demonstrating versions of the handset to developers" in San Francisco and Seattle over recent weeks. According to "people briefed on the company's plans", the online retail giant is aiming to announce the device in June and begin shipping product by the end of September.
It's not the first time rumours of an Amazon smartphone have circulated, with talk of a Kindle smartphone (to follow the established Kindle tablet range) popping up as early as 2011. Now the talk surrounds glasses-free 3D screen technology and multiple front-facing cameras; while , these features would certainly help in setting the device apart from its competitors.
It's been a busy few weeks for Amazon, particularly outside its online shopping wheelhouse. At the start of the month the company announced the launch of Amazon Fire TV, an Apple TV competitor that allows video streaming from US content providers. Last week, Amazon went further on the hardware front with the – a handheld scanner that allows users to scan common items in their pantry and add them to their Amazon shopping list.
A spokesperson for Amazon told CNET Australia that the company is "not commenting on rumours at this stage" regarding either a northern hemisphere or Australian release for an Amazon smartphone.