Amazon's Pending Smartphone Debut 'Difficult to Judge'

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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**Editor's Note: Click here for our ranking of March's hottest selling smartphones to see how Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S4 fared against the competition.**

Many analysts playing things pretty close to the vest when it comes to comments about Amazon's rumored smartphone debut later this year.

Sources "briefed on the [online retail giant's] plans" told the Wall Street Journal last week that Amazon has been demonstrating its new handset to developers over the past few weeks. It's poised to feature a touchscreen that's capable of displaying 3-D images without the use of special glasses. Instead, it will use retina-tracking technology and four sensors to make certain images appear to be three-dimensional.

“If Amazon stays true to its strategy and, as with its Kindle Fire range of tablets, it doesn’t try to profit from the devices themselves, but from the products and content that they will eventually help to sell, then an Amazon smartphone will certainly be an interesting proposition on the market," noted Boris Metodiev, a senior analyst with Yankee Group, commenting on the WSJ article. "Glasses-free 3-D capabilities and retina-tracking technology will also help to distinguish it from the mainstream devices.

If the speculation is to be believed, we'll hear an official announcement about the new device in June, with a release date of sometime in September. 

"Still, there are quite a lot of things that we don’t know about the Amazon smartphone," Metodiev added. "Is any other vendor going to be involved (HTC was rumored to be one)? Is it going to run on a heavily forked Android OS? If so, is it going to have  access to Google Play app store? What about price and specs? Until we know the answers to these questions, it is difficult to judge it based only on rumors."

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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