It’s already been reported that HTC might be making the multiple Amazon smartphones that have been rumored for quite a while, but according to a new report from Bloomberg, it’s said that Amazon and HTC have been in talks since June of this year. Plus, it’s rumored that the phone might only be sold to Amazon Prime members.
Furthermore, Bloomberg notes that a final decision on moving forward with developing a smartphone has not been made yet, and a release timeline has also not been decided on. This goes slightly against what The Financial Times reported yesterday, which says that three separate Amazon phones are being currently developed at HTC right now, with one of the devices already close to completion.
While it may seem odd that Amazon could require a Prime membership in order to buy an Amazon smartphone, it makes sense. The company could something like offer on of its smartphones at a discounted price if they sign up for a Prime members. Or, if customers are already Prime members, they can get the phone at the discounted price whenever.
Of course, the reason behind this would be to get more users taking advantage of Amazon’s various services. Amazon is losing money for every Kindle Fire tablet it sells, but digital content sales easily make up for that loss, and an Amazon smartphone would just be another similar piece of hardware that would boost digital content sales even more, especially if users were required to have a Prime membership.
Amazon’s Prime membership costs $80 per year ($40 per year for students), and it allows customers to get free two-day shipping on items, as well free access to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video streaming service and the Kindle Lending Library, where you can check out digital Kindle books and read them for free.
While details about the three Amazon phones are pretty fuzzy, it’s said that the flagship model will offer a 3D user interface, while the entry-level version would be offered for free, or at least sold at a very low price. Details about the middle-tier variant are completely unknown at this point.
And while an Amazon smartphone could be a raging success, just like its Kindle tablets, there’s always the chance that it could turn out to be a dud, just like the HTC First. While the success of an Amazon smartphone would most likely be triumphant, we’re sure both HTC and Amazon are a bit worried by what happened with the First, but we’ll simply have to wait and find out before the fate of an Amazon smartphone is decided.