LONDON – Having achieved success with its Kindle and Kindle Fire e-readers, Amazon.com Inc. (Seattle, Wash.) has asked electronics manufacturing services company Foxconn to help it enter the smartphone market in 2012, according to a Taiwan Economic News report.
Foxconn (Tucheng, Taiwan), the world's largest EMS company is thought to employ more than 1 million people, mainly in mainland China where it has numerous plants consumer electronic equipment for companies including: Amazon, Apple, Cisco, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Nintendo, Nokia and Sony Ericsson. Much of Foxconn's success has come with that of Apple's iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet computer.
Amazon and Foxconn have formed a joint-design manufacturing company that is expected to produce an Amazon branded smartphone in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the report, which referenced unnamed Citigroup Securities analysts as its sources.
Amazon's smartphone is likely to be based on the Omap 4430 processor from Texas Instruments and a dual-mode baseband chipset (HSPA+/CDMA EVDO) from Qualcomm, the report referenced the observers as saying.
As Omap 5, based on a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor, is expected in the third quarter of 2012, the report said that the Amazon phone looks set to be targeting the middle of the smartphone market, rather than the high-end.
Amazon is likely to be aiming at a bill-of-materials cost for the phone of less than $100 for a phone with 8-megapixel camera, 4-inch touchscreen, the report said.
Although such a smartphone might cost $150 to $170 per unit to manufacture the report quoted the Citigroup Securities analysts as saying Amazon might choose to sell the phone at a discount. This has been the pricing strategy with the Kindle Fire under which Amazon seeks to get widespread acceptance of its terminals and make profits from the sale of products and application software.
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