By Stephen Schenck | September 6, 2013 5:10 PM
At times, it may seem like the Loch Ness Monster or Yeti, but rumors continue to insist that an Amazon smartphone is very real, very much in development, and it’s just a manner of time before it arrives. While most of this summer’s Amazon hardware rumors have focused on the anticipated release of this year’s selection of Kindle Fire models, we did hear a little about a possible Amazon phone – or rather, phones. Supposedly there were two such models in development, and one of them might even attempt to bring back the 3D screen. We’ll believe that when we see it, but today a new rumor talks less about the hardware and more about Amazon’s release strategy, suggesting that the company could provide users with its smartphone for free.
There could still be a catch – one that’s been suggested is that this free phone would only be available to members of Amazon Prime, which itself costs about $80 a year. That detail may not be decided on yet, but one aspect of the phone these sources seem more confident about is that there wouldn’t be any wireless contract required to get the phone for free.
It’s not the craziest idea we’ve heard – if Amazon’s not looking to directly turn a profit on its phone, it could provide users with even a high-end model for maybe only $200 or less in manufacturing expenses. If – perhaps through this connection to Prime – Amazon can leverage these free phones into encouraging users to spend more and more of their cash with Amazon, it very well could recoup that money.
In the end, it sounds like there are still a lot of decisions to be made about this idea, and it very well could fall apart before any Amazon phone is ever ready for release. Still, it’s a fascinating idea that could well shake-up what we’ve come to expect from phone sales.