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Amazon Kindle Fire rear

Amazon is no stranger to the mobile hardware business, having launched several Kindle Fire tablets in recent years. It's long been speculated that the online retailer could also eventually make its way into the smartphone world, but so far we've yet to see an Amazon handset materialize, despite claims that such a device is in the works. Today the Amazon phone rumors continue, as The Wall Street Journal says that the company's got a couple of handsets kicking around in its labs.

According to the WSJ's "people familiar with [Amazon's] plans," the retailer is working on a pair of smartphones, one of which is reportedly a high-end device with a glasses-free 3D display. Two of the tipsters added that the device could even allow users to navigate its software using their eyes. Amazon is also said to be working on its own audio-only streaming device, but details on that product are light.

As far as a launch goes, Amazon is allegedly hoping to release some of its in-development hardware in the coming months. However, the WSJ's sources caution that some or all of the products could end up getting scrapped due to "performance, financial or other concerns."

Considering the success that Amazon has had with its Kindle Fire line of Android-powered tablets, it makes sense that the company would at least be toying with the idea of releasing its own smartphone as well. It's even possible that Amazon could be messing around with a 3D smartphone in its labs, though considering that consumers don't seem to be clamoring for another 3D handset, it'd be kind of a surprise to see Amazon actually launch such a product.

Meanwhile, a plain ol' Kindle smartphone would shock just about no one, although it'd be interesting to see exactly how Amazon would decide to sell such a device. Would it partner with a carrier or two? Or maybe it'd emulate Google and sell unlocked hardware directly to consumers? We won't know for sure unless Amazon actually does release a smartphone, and right now it doesn't seem that we're any closer to knowing if it will than we were last year. But hey, that doesn't mean that we can't speculate! What do you all make of today's rumors? Do you think that Amazon will eventually launch its own smartphone?

Via The Wall Street Journal


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