A little earlier this week we heard a report claiming that HTC and Amazon had joined forces to work towards producing the retailer’s long-rumored smartphone, and suggesting that they’d been developing three separate models. We’re still trying to piece together what actually might be going on here, but today we get a little more to go on, with some new details arriving about this supposed partnership.
For one, this new info – which Bloomberg attributes to a pair of sources – is more specific than that earlier report that HTC and Amazon may not release a phone at all. Even though they assert that talks between the two have been ongoing since June, this is far from a done deal, and Amazon might very well go with someone else.
This also brings up an idea that was tangentially attached to Amazon phone rumors earlier this year, that the phone could somehow be exclusive to Amazon Prime users. Back then, that notion was intimately tied to the idea of the phone being essentially free, subsidized by future merchandise purchases and recurring Prime fees. That idea of a free or nearly free Amazon phone has since been rejected, but now this Prime tie-in might just be returning.
We also hear another twist on Amazon’s motivations, suggesting that an Amazon phone wouldn’t primarily be used to direct users towards buying physical goods through the retailer, but instead encouraging usage of Amazon Instant Video.