In honor of the holiday season, we’re taking a look at a list of products, strategies and plans that misfired in 2013 from publication @FierceWireless. Last week we looked at Verizon’s Nexus 7 support (or lack thereof), and today we’re looking at the nonexistent Amazon smartphone. See more below–
Rumors of an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle-branded Android smartphone have been swirling for years but kicked into high gear in 2013. However as the year comes to a close there is still no Amazon-branded device.
According to a March DigiTimes report, which cited unnamed sources in the “flat panel supply chain,” the device was coming but would not reach consumers until at least the third quarter of 2013 due to production snafus.
In April, Amazon reportedly acquired voice recognition technology startup Evi, stoking more smartphone speculation. Then, in May, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was developing a high-end 3D smartphone as part of a wider push into mobile and hardware. That report offered more details and said Amazon was working on a lineup of devices, including two smartphones and an “audio-only streaming device.” The 3D smartphone would let users see 3D images without glasses, the report said, adding that by using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to hover above the screen like a hologram and appear 3D from all viewing angles.
Over the summer, reports emerged that Amazon conducted tests of a wireless network using spectrum controlled by satellite operator Globalstar for what could be a new broadband service and a way for Amazon to connect its Kindle devices and other gadgets to the Internet. TMF Associates analyst Tim Farrar, who first disclosed the tests, speculated that they could be part of Amazon’s plans for an in-home media hub. Still, there was no smartphone.
In September, the speculation reached a fever pitch, and Amazon finally weighed in, saying it would not be introducing a smartphone this year. Amazon made the statement in response to an article written by former Wall Street Journal reporters Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati and published on Lessin’s website. They reported that Amazon was considering introducing a free smartphone. After the story went viral, Amazon responded with a statement, saying, “We have no plans to offer a phone this year, and if we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free.”
But after Amazon’s statement, the Financial Times still reported yet another account of a potential Amazon smartphone, this time with HTC. The report said that one of the three devices was in the advanced stage of development but that the timeline of the launch of that device could change and that Amazon may decide not to release it all. And so the saga continues.