The Amazon smartphone has been the subject of much curiosity ever since the Wall St. Journal and the Boy Genius Report first started providing leaked information about the rumored device several weeks ago. That curiosity continues today with yet another published report from BGR claiming to have the first image of what the Amazon smartphone will look like. Previous picture leaks had purported to show a prototype of the Amazon 3D smartphone in a protective housing, but the image below is supposedly what the device will look like. Titled Unmasked: The world’s first clear look at Amazon’s smartphone, the render reminds of many other current smartphone designs. With renders and videos of the rumored iPhone 6 popping up everyday, perhaps Amazon is trying to keep its efforts in the public’s eye with some well timed leaks.
Rumors that Amazon has been working on multiple smartphones have been around for awhile, but recent leaks through the Boy Genius Report and the Wall St. Journal have added some meat on the bones for those interested to chew on. It is now assumed by many that Amazon will be announcing a new smartphone this summer for a fall release, with other models possibly to follow.
The first big information that popped out came from the Wall St. Journal announcing that Amazon’s first foray into the smartphone game will have a 3D display. That leak also said Amazon would be making a June or July announcement with a possible September release. The WSJ report also included information that there would be multiple front facing cameras or sensors with retina-tracking capability to make some images appear three dimensional, almost like a hologram.
The combined technology was described by people who had seen it demonstrated as having the ability to sense the movement of a user’s eyes and tell when that user is moving the smartphone closer or farther away from his or her face. As the sensors respond, the phone will automatically zoom into or away from images. It is also being described as having the potential capability to manipulate text and menus in addition to images. All of this supposedly is possible without the use of any form of additional 3D glasses.
The Boy Genius Report followed up with information that the 3D phone would have six total cameras and included the first photo that showed four of those cameras prominently displayed in each of the four corners of the display.
That report also brought information that the smartphone would a 4.7 inch display with a 720p HD resolution, run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM. As with Amazon’s tablets, it is expected to run on a version of Amazon’s Fire OS, which is based on the Android operating system. All reporting up that point mentioned gaming as a user attraction for a 3D display. Amazon has created its own game development studio, Amazon Game Studios.
This latest report that accompanies this new image from BGR says that the phone is “a bit large,” but is apparently comfortable enough to satisfactorily use with one hand.
Amazon is also said to be launching “Prime Data,” which may be a new way of selling data plans for its new phones. No one has specific details on what “Prime Data” really is or will be, but informed speculation hints that Amazon Prime subscribers might see free access to Amazon services such as Instant Video, or music streamed through Amazon’s Cloud Player. The “free” part would mean that the data streamed wouldn’t count against any sort of cap.
Amazon may be teaming up with AT&T to roll this out. One possible line of thinking is that the new phone might launch as an exclusive on AT&T and tie in with the AT&T’s Sponsored Data program unveiled in January 2014. Essentially that program lets a company pay AT&T for the bandwidth used by an App or service, and not the consumer.
Others have speculated that this might simply be a discount plan for Amazon Prime subscribers on data plan costs, or that the data plan may have a free component that lasts for a portion of time before payment kicks in.
Given that this is all rumor, speculation, and based on leaks at the moment, there are some interesting possibilities if indeed Amazon does roll out its first smartphone this summer and/or fall. While some would be attracted by the rumored 3D capability, the Prime Data speculation probably gives Amazon its biggest chance of distinguishing itself in a crowded field. And based on this latest leaked photo which shows a smartphone that could just as easily be from any other existing player in the market, Amazon will most likely need all the distinguishing factors that it can muster to its side.
That said, keep in mind that Amazon sells tablets to a market that seems content to rely on Amazon’s ecosystem for its mobile device needs, although we don’t ever really get numbers on how many tablets Amazon sells. Should Amazon indeed decide to get into the smartphone game, it obviously would be building off of that tablet selling strategy and hope Kindle Fire tablet users might want to try out a new Amazon smartphone.