Amazon and Facebook fuel smartphone speculation

Speculation is mounting that Amazon and Facebook could be set to enter the smartphone arena.

The latest announcements from Amazon and Facebook reveal both are working on new, as yet-unconfirmed mobile projects.

Amazon has hired former Windows Phone executive Charlie Kindel to work on “something secret” according to his LinkedIn profile. He joins this month and says he is ”building a new team going after a totally new area for Amazon”.

Kindel adds he is currently “hiring cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers and product managers.

With the announcement occurring yesterday on 1 April, a few people questioned whether the role was a prank, however Kindel assured those on Twitter that the role is “for real”. In a separate blog post he wrote: “I was really enjoying working with startups, and really didn’t expect to be working at one of the giants again, but Amazon presented me with an opportunity to build a bold and audacious new business that I simply couldn’t pass up”.

Kindel, who was the general manager of Windows Phone developer platform, left the business in 2011 after 21 years to form software startup last year BizLogr.

Meanwhile, Facebook is hosting a media event later this week (4 April) to announce its latest push into the mobile space. The social network has sent out invites with the teaser ‘Come See Our New Home on Android’ fuelling speculation it is about to unveil its long-rumoured branded mobile phone. The phone, thought to be developed by HTC, could see the social network along with its Instagram service positioned at the centre of the user experience.

The as yet-unspecified projects come amid industry buzz that both companies are looking to leverage their vast user bases to challenge the dominance of Apple and Samsung with their own branded devices.

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