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Amazon may announce a smartphone today

There’s a rumor spreading across the web which suggests that Amazon may be developing its own smartphone, and a trusted tipster has apparently confirmed this news with The Verge. According to the sources, the handset has not been finalized yet, however, the company will publicly announce the device at its press conference which is going to be held today.

The Amazon smartphone will be most likely an Android device, and like most of the manufacturers out there, even Amazon’s smartphone will be running a heavily modified UI overlay over the OS, just like the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. Of course it will be missing that so-called pure Google experience, but will be closely integrated with the online retailer’s ecosystem. When Kindle Fire, a 7 inch Android tablet from Amazon, was launched, it was marketed with a price tag of $199. Thanks to Amazon’s business strategy, the company managed to keep that aggressive price tag. Amazon’s business strategy is to make money on the selling of digital content on the Fire, rather than through the device itself. Although it’s not clear yet, but taking a look back into Kindle Fire’s pricing and company’s strategy behind it, even the new smartphone may follow the same marketing strategy and may come with a very low initial price tag, though it’s just a guess. According to other rumors, instead of making use of Google Maps that is natively available to Android operating system, the new Amazon smartphone will be making use of Nokia Maps instead.

Apart from the new smartphone, Amazon is also expected to launch one or more new Kindle Fires and a refreshed E Ink model in Amazon’s e-reader line. Looking at the above image, the device looks like a refreshed model of Kindle Touch. On close observation, we can see that the button below the screen has disappeared, and the color of the bezel has turned to dark shades of gray, as opposed to light gray bezel found on previous Kindle Touch device. The supposedly new product appears to retain the shape, and so is the location of USB port and power switch. From the images, seems like the company will be marketing it with “higher contrast, high resolution, integrated lighting, and eight weeks of battery life,” even when using the light, which is a pretty ambitious claim. It’s not known whether the new device will be called as Kindle Touch or “Paper white” or both.

If you have been following the news, Amazon’s Android-based tablet was declared as “sold out.” last week, and this does hint that new Kindles might be on their way. It’s told that a “pair” of Fires is likely — a 7- and a 10-incher — though it’s not known whether they will be launched together at the same time or not. And that is pretty much all that was revealed. The Amazon press conference starts at 10:30AM Pacific time, so we will keep you updated on what’s going on.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on this? Use the comment section below.