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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Phones

Amazon phones exclusive to Prime members, says report

Amazon is primed to release as many as three smart phones, but reports suggest you'll only be able to buy them if you're in Amazon Prime.

Amazon is primed to release as many as three smart phones, with some help from HTC. But before they're ready for prime time, reports suggest you'll only be able to buy them if you're a member of Amazon Prime.

Bloomberg reports the HTC-built, Amazon-branded phones will be exclusively available to those who pay for Amazon Prime, which gets you perks such as one-day delivery and borrowing of Kindle ebooks. Amazon Prime costs £49 per year.

If the phones -- and their price tags -- are decent enough, that would presumably drive more people to sign up to the service. Amazon will also benefit by channeling more phone fans to its own Amazon Appstore rather than funnelling money to Google through the official Android app outlet Google Play.

Recent rumours suggest Amazon has plans for more than one smart phone, including a high-powered model with clever features, and a cheaper, lower-specced version. Sound familiar? Perhaps the bookseller is taking a leaf out of Apple's book with the iPhone 5S and cheaper 5C. The latest rumour is that Amazon and HTC could in fact have plans for three phones.

Amazon phones would probably boast a heavily-customised version of Android, like Amazon's tablets. Kindle Fire tablets are based on Android but have a redesigned interface that puts Amazon services front and centre, including movie and film streaming, as well as shopping.

The new Kindle Fire HDX hits Britain next month, and costs £200.

Do you think Amazon would recruit new customers with Prime phones, or is it a bad idea? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.