Amazon smartphone coming in late 2012, analyst says

Citigroup says the phone might cost less than $200

Amazon is working on a smartphone to be released in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a Citigroup analyst quoted by All Things D.

Amazon officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Citigroup researcher Mark Mahaney wrote: "Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia ... we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12."

The note added that Citigroup believes the Amazon smartphone will run the Texas Instrument OMAP 4 processor and is likely to have a dual-mode radio from Qualcomm.

Citigroup even suggested the device would cost $150 to $170 to build, and might be sold for about that amount. Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire tablet at $199, which is $10 less than one research firm determined was the $210 cost of building the device. The Kindle Fire runs an Amazon-customized version of Android 2.3, and Citigroup suggests the phone would also run Android.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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