Amazon doesn’t want to be left out of the smartphone market and as a result is reportedly working on a new Android mobile phone lineup under the codename Ice.
That’s according to a new unsourced report that said the devices are aimed at succeeding the Amazon Fire Phone from 2014 that did not do well in the marketplace. The new line of Android phones will reportedly come with a suite of Google’s app such as Gmail and Google Play. What’s more, the new devices don’t support Amazon Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated digital assistant, but support could be added down the road.
The Amazon Android smartphone being tested reportedly has a 5.2-inch to 5.5-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 chip, 2GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. It also has a 13 MP rear camera and rear fingerprint scanner and runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, the report said.
The Amazon Android phone could go on sale in India before the end of 2017. It’s not clear if the smartphone will make its way to the U.S., noted the report. In June of last year Amazon released unlocked Android smartphones that sold for well under $100. The BLU R1 HD, which comes with a 5-inch HD display screen, quad-core processor and 4G LTE speed, can be purchased by Amazon Prime members for just $49.99. Sticker price on the phone is currently $150.
The Moto G, which comes with a 5.5-inch full HD display, an octa-core processor with 2 GB of RAM and 4G LTE speed, is available to Prime members for $149.99. That is a $50 discount off its $200 sticker price.
The unlocked Amazon Android phones allow buyers to find the wireless carrier and service plans that fit them best, offering customers more freedom and flexibility in the increasingly competitive cellular market and not forcing them to get locked into plans or coverage with any carrier.
However, that flexibility comes with a bit of a catch. The Moto G works on all four major carrier networks (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile), but the BLU only works on AT&T and T-Mobile.