Ex-Wall Street Journal writer Jessica Lessin reported a scoop late on Friday that said Amazon had plans to launch a free smartphone imminently. Amazon has now spoken to Lessin to sternly deny both the suggestion it is about to launch a phone and that it would sell for exactly $0.
Amazon’s entry to the phone market has long been suspected, and it would seem a natural progression for Jeff Bezos’s company after its Kindle Fire line of Android devices. Amazon says these are selling extraordinarily well, but thanks to the weirdly Cold War-esque secrecy of Amazon in regard to reporting hard numbers, it’s impossible to verify the truth of this claim. Certainly one sees more iPads in circulation than Fires. It may be this fact that could drive Amazon’s phone plans–a phone coupled with Amazon’s content and its enormous web infrastructure could disrupt the market, at least in the U.S.
Amazon’s outright denial may be part of its ongoing plans, of course, but it would seem to be pretty vehement in place of the company’s typical “no comment.” Apple’s iPhone would likely be the chief target of any purported Amazon phone. The next-gen iPhone, alongside what’s presumed to be a cheaper plastic iPhone to tackle the mid- to low-end phone markets that a $0 Amazon phone would target, is expected to be announced tomorrow.