‘Amazon set to launch first Kindle phone’

Amazon is reported to be revealing its first smartphone today (6 September) at a press event where it is also due to unveil a new e-reader and one or more updates to its Kindle Fire tablet as it looks to increase its stronghold in digital entertainment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VvQ2zZ2seM

The Amazon smartphone will be the latest in a raft of recently unveiled devices from other manufacturers, such as Nokia, Samsung and Motorola, as the companies look to steal the thunder from the expected launch of the iPhone 5 next week.

Amazon’s offering is said to run a variant of the Kindle Fire’s Android-based operating system, using Nokia as its maps and location based app partner, according to technology blog The Verge.

A US TV ad shown during an NFL game last night (5 September) appeared to prematurely reveal the two other devices Amazon will launch today: a backlit e-ink Kindle reader and a 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet.

Reports in several technology blogs suggest Amazon could subsidise the cost of the new device by launching an ad-supported version, as it has already done with its lower-cost Kindle e-readers.

Amazon launched its first tablet last year at the price of $199 (£127), far cheaper than most other devices on the market at the time.

It now claims it has a 22 per cent share of the US tablet market and that the device is now sold out in the region.

The company said last month that Kindle ebook sales had overtaken Amazon’s hardback and paperback book sales in what it dubbed a “reading renaissance”, underlining its eagerness to keep apace in the digital entertainment segment. Digital ebooks, apps, music and games also sell at a higher margin than their physical counterparts.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO said in a statement last week, “This has been a big year for digital products on Amazon- all of the top 10 sellers on Amazon.com since Kindle Fire launched just less than a year ago are digital products. Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead – we will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem.”

Amazon could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

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