Speculation over an Amazon Kindle smartphone and they way it will be marketed have hit the HEXUS headlines a few times before. However we now hear, from a prominent mobile devices analyst, that the major USP of the smartphone won't be a giveaway price with bundled services but its 3D sensory control system - like a Kinect or Leap Motion. The timescale for the Amazon smartphone launch is between three to six months from now.
Tech site BGR got hold of a note penned by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo to his investor clients late last week. "We predict Amazon (US) will launch its own brand smartphone in 3-6 months, using the same hardware strategy as used for its e-reader and tablet," wrote Kuo. "The supply chain will start stocking up materials in 2Q14 for production. We estimate required components will amount to 700k-1.2mn units, and assembly to 300-600k units. Related suppliers will start to see benefits in 2Q14."
I've compiled a table of the specifications that Kuo has indicated will be part of the upcoming Amazon Kindle smartphone:
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
- Screen: 4.7-inches, 300-320 ppi
- Cameras: 13MP main camera supplied by Sony, 2MP user facing camera and four other camera units "for gesture control"
- Chassis: plastic
- Battery: 2,000-2,400mAh
The 'gesture control' aspect of the Kindle phone is said to be in place to provide a way to make it stand out from the crowd. We also expect the bundling of Amazon e-commerce services into the device to help market the hardware at a keen price. The spec list gives some hope that the device will have some decent middle-market smartphone features beyond the gesture control USP.
As mentioned in the intro, the new smartphone is expects to be launched between June and September this year. Amazon is reading its supply chain with as many as 600,000 units prepared for launch time. BGR notes that it has independent sources that have confirmed some of the Kindle smartphone specs mentioned by KGI Securities.
It's interesting to see Amazon back a USP of gesture control as news comes in that Leap Motion is laying off 10 per cent of its workforce following disappointing sales of its gesture controller in recent months.