Amazon’s smartphone rumored to be an AT&T exclusive

BY Evan Selleck

Published 17 Jun 2014

image Amazon smartphone

One of the most stubborn rumors of the last few years has been focused on Amazon and their upcoming smartphone. We’ve been hearing about it for what seems like forever, but it’s never managed to become a reality. That’s looking to change in 2014, though, as the rumors and leaks are starting to come together to form a real device, and as you can see from the image above, we’ve already seen what the device might look like — albeit, tucked inside a development case.

On June 18, Amazon is set to announce something new, and many people believe that it’s going to be the company’s first smartphone. While it could very well be new eReaders, or even changes to their tablets, the safe bet at this point is that Amazon is finally ready to unveil what they’ve been working on for so long. And based on how many people use Amazon services, like Amazon Prime and Amazon Video, what a lot of potential consumers have eagerly been waiting to get their hands on.

Unfortunately, if a new report from The Wall Street Journal pans out, only a select group of people might be able to pick up the new handset. The new report claims that Amazon’s smartphone is going to launch as an AT&T-based exclusive, with no mention that it may be a timed exclusive. This may not come as a shock to many, though, considering AT&T already offers data for Amazon’s Kindle-branded eReaders and tablets. A smartphone on AT&T’s network, and only AT&T’s network, just seems to make the most sense.

There have been rumors in the past that Amazon may eat up the cost of data for users that access Amazon services from the smartphone, but the WSJ report didn’t mention anything of that particular deal this time around.

Amazon’s first smartphone is suggested to be a mid-range device, with a screen somewhere around 4.7-inches. The big takeaway feature, though, is the retina-tracking technology the phone is said to boast, which will simulate 3D images from the display, while also offering different methods of navigating the device’s user interface. If Amazon does indeed announce the new handset on June 18, it’s said to start shipping September. It’ll be running some version of Android, under a highly customized skin.

Is the Amazon smartphone on your radar?

[via The Wall Street Journal]