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Amazon to Possibly Price Upcoming “Kindle” Smartphone as Free (Updated)

amazon kindle fire

Update:  Amazon has flat out denied this report, stating that they are not launching a phone this year, but if they did it “would not be free.”

According to sources of ex-WSJ reporters Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati, Amazon might be listing its upcoming smartphone at an unbeatable price – free. Apparently, there is still some speculation on how Amazon will make its money back on the device, but a few reports speculate that the e-retailer could require a subscription to Amazon Prime. From what the source states, “Amazon wants the device to be free whether or not people sign up for a new wireless plan at the same time.” 

The device would be sold online, straight to consumers without the need of going through carriers for subsidization. When and where we can expect to see this free smartphone hit the market is still unclear. Another aspect, a large one at that, is who would manufacturer such a device? According to the sources, many companies that were reportedly in talks with Amazon currently have agreements to not produce Android devices that do not support Google’s services, which means no forking of the OS. We could be a ways from seeing this device, but that is not new. Talks of an Amazon smartphone have been around for a long time.

As for our opinion, much like their Kindle tablets, a phone from Amazon would more than likely be a heavily-skinned Android device. This interests us, but then again, you can kiss access to Google Play, Google apps, and many other great Android features goodbye.

What is your take on a free Kindle phone? Would you ever buy a phone that doesn’t have access to Google’s suite of apps?

Via: Jessica Lessin

  • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

    This article should be updated. Amazon has come out and directly contradicted this story saying if they come out with a phone in the future that it certainly won’t be free.

    They have never given hardware away for free. At cost maybe…but not free.

  • Mordecaidrake

    No thanks haha the Kindle tablet UI is atrocious.

  • http://friv-2.yepi-yepi.com/ Friv2games

    Free phone and you’ll get some awful experiences

  • mikeszekely

    Would I buy a phone for free? As long as I don’t have to use it as a phone.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

    ill take it for free. alrdy have a prime subscription student discoutn for 30 a year.

    will try to root and slap CM 10.2 on that bad boy ;)

  • moozicmon

    Here’s a thought…Hugo leaves Google for Xiaomi. Xiaomi seems poised to make a push for the American market. Amazon is certainly a rival of Google… maybe Xiaomi and Amazon have a little something going on?

  • me

    How can they call it free when it requires a 2-yr contract where you’re paying $90/month to use it? It’s not free. People are so gullible.

  • http://friv-2.yepi-yepi.com/ Friv2games

    I’ll take one. One thing we do know… Amazon is terrible at UI Skins.

  • http://mulderc.blogspot.com/ Cameron Mulder

    Given that Xianomi is able to make a profit on decent phones that are priced in the $200-$300 range in the Chinese market, I think it might be likely that Amazon could subsidize a phone and make it very close to free. Although it will include ads and probably require a prime membership.

    There would be no reason not to try it. I could see it including a variety of apps to help with price comparison while shopping, or tagging items you see for purchase later on amazon/zappos. I think this could be very profitable and probably would be the business strategy they would need to go with if they want to make a dent in the phone market.

  • PolarBear

    Don’t get this device please. It is an Amazon’s trap.

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    I kept hearing their new tablet would be free to prime customers. I could easily see getting this “free” phone to use as an emergency backup or something to let my daughter play with. Either way, its hard to pass up free. Would I use it over a new Nexus or a Moto X? Nope. But in a pickle, I like the price just fine. Get one just to tie you over and have something to play with in between new devices.

  • PolarBear

    Amazon trolled Google in tablets. Now Amazon wants to troll Google in Smartphones. I think Amazon is in secret alliance with Apple.

  • Ken

    if it’s really free with amazon prime i’d get it.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    I’d rather pay for a real phone. {{-_-}}

  • http://www.smashpixels.com/ Gautham@SmashPixels

    There is no wonder because the current kindle is based on it’s subscriptions as well. http://www.iandroidapps.net/

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  • conrad owens

    If they offered it with a low end prepaid mobile plan I’d be on board. (say 100 min, unlimited text, 1Gb data for $20 or less)

  • IHATEHIPSTERSSS

    typical bargain bin bottom of the barrel basement dweller phone for the sheep

    i feel sorry for the fandroids =/

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      I guess everyone should make circle phones because Apple already made a rectangular one. Get the fuq outta here with your obvious trolling.

      • sk3litor

        Why even bother? 98% of iphone fans are children trying to establish an identity and fit in with friends or uninformed consumers. In either case its like talking to a brick wall.

    • Droid 1967

      PATHETIC!

      Below you will find the link to where he got this picture. He left out a few things.

      and he feels sorry for android phone users. laughable isnt it!

      You sir are pathetic and stupid. It took all of 1 minute to find this link to the truth.

      http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/08/apples-case-that-samsung-copied-the-iphone-and-ipad-in-pictures/

    • http://www.hammertechnologies.net/ Chase Johnson

      Im so glad that Apple has had so many hardware and software changes over the years…..

  • poop

    Amazon is all about leaving you in the dust. No connection to the Play Store is an absolute no-no. If you’re going to have Android, give me the Android app collection or give me death.

    Okay, maybe not death, but definitely not a Kindle phone, no matter the cost.

    • sk3litor

      There is no cost. I mean as long as amazon prime is a good service on its own then use the phone for target practice. Who cares, its free :)

  • rekem

    Been picking up interesting free apps of the day for 2 1/2 years, might as well get some use out of ‘em. Damn sure ain’t gonna soil my Nexus 4 with Amazon’s bloated, DRM-heavy POS appstore app.

  • KatsumeBlisk

    I have prime, so if that’s the only requirement, I’d get one. I don’t think this is legit though. That covers a lot of people that would only use it as media players like me.

  • S9779

    It randomly text you ads for some crap you never want “based on your recent purchase of batman the dark Knight we would like to recommend my little pony” and the only ring tones you can use are ads for Amazon streaming video or the new 50 shades of gray book.

  • Neurolytic

    Makes me wonder if rumors aren’t meant to give companies, like Amazon, ideas on what to work on so that their upcoming device isn’t tampered with to perform other than what it was originally supposed to.

    But my take… Get it, root it, AOSP it, and enjoy the sluggish performance it can offer. After all, free doesn’t hurt. :)

  • New_Guy

    so my lock screen will be a giant rotating advertisement then?…

  • The. Great. Cornholio!

    Android Deathmatch (there can only be one):

    Rumor of Free Kindle smartphone/Forked Android vs HTC First

    • JoshGroff

      Tough choice, but IIRC, the first is basically stock with Facebook home as the stock launcher. That would give it just enough to win.

  • StuckOnVerizonForever

    Win. I love Amazon prime. Got student price so for $39 I get a year of movies and TV, 2 day shipping, and no tax.

    • michael arazan

      I would use it as wifi only device and maybe get a google number for it

      I wouldn’t mind paying for amazon prime for all their tv and movies for a free phone, as long as my subscription can be used on other devices and hopefully connect it to my hdtv. like my Gnex does.

      Does amazon prime use xbox or playstation or can it stream on pc’s?

      • Mike

        Xbox, Playstation, and PCs

      • StuckOnVerizonForever

        Yep Xbox, PlayStation, PC, Smart TV, etc

      • Sinistar83

        There is an Amazon Instant video app on PS3, not sure about xbox

    • googlyeyedfrog

      how do you get student price?

      • StuckOnVerizonForever

        Being a student, lol

        • El_Big_CHRIS

          Obvious statement is obvious

  • Godzilla

    Piece of shitt

    • Bobby Sue

      I like your reviews. Short and to the point.

    • PolarBear

      You are right. Amazon wants to play with our minds, because they hate Google like Apple does.

    • Pedro

      Been talking to Sarge?

  • moelsen8

    Would I buy one? Of course I would, for $0.00.

  • Steve Hoo

    51% of Apple’s revenue comes from iPhone sales. Apple officially crapping their pants.

    • zurginator

      Apple could theoretically compete with Amazon though – they do control iOS, so they could sell phones for free and make up the profit in apps.

      Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, and to a lesser extent Motorola are all fuked though.

      • Melissa Tredwell

        Apple doesnt compete in the low end, all of those other guys do with plenty of $1 phones. Apple is screwed. Make it up in apps? LOL, what a dunce!

        • JoshGroff

          $1 ON CONTRACT, not off.

        • zurginator

          I’m saying Apple has complete control of iOS – it wouldn’t be that hard for them to transition to the same “we buy the device, you buy the content” system as Amazon/Google.

          HTC, LG, and Sony don’t have any significant mobile content revenue, they make their money on the devices. They won’t be able to build an ecosystem fast enough to compete (Samsung is working on it already though).

          With their acquisition of Nokia, Microsoft could also theoretically compete – but they have to get themselves out of the ditch first.

  • acras

    Depends on the hardware specs and if it can be rooted and flashed to run something better than amazons version of android. I don’t need a low spec cheap phone , I have my old phones to cover that base

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Free with Prime? I’ll take one. One thing we do know… Amazon is terrible at UI Skins.

    • JoshGroff

      Heck, for free, even if I just use it to watch Amazon Video, it’s worth it. I was considering a prime subscription anyway, so that’d be enough to sway me.

    • Zach Armstrong

      Its its free Get it then root it and throw a custom rom on it

  • epps720

    I already have Prime so I would only take one if it was free and give it to my kid. I have a kindle fire and hate the skin so could never use one as my everyday driver.

    • New_Guy

      Never, ever, ever.

  • Matt Groff

    Get it and install Google Apps.
    ????
    Profit

    • mrbirdman

      alternate path:
      get it
      root it
      install AOSP
      ????
      Profit

      • Rammstein

        Better yet:
        get it
        list on craigslist
        sell to some poor sucker that doesn’t know it’s free
        ????
        Actual Profit

        • StuckOnVerizonForever

          “Merica”

      • br_hermon

        Hands down the way to go on this phone!

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    • PolarBear

      That’s a trap. They only wants more developers for the Amazon App Store. That’s their dirty idea.

      • Efftard

        We friggin get it. You don’t need to spam this thread with the same damn statement, you freaking mongoloid.

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  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    And I probably still wouldn’t use one.

    • Matt Alexander

      They have said literally nothing about it except that it will be free, so how do you know?

      • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

        I just don’t care for amazon and their forked version of android. I’m sure someone will successfully root it at some point , but I’d rather not have to root and rom it just to make it usable for me.

        • Philip A. Kaiser

          If you are a prime user and drop your new phone in a toilet with no insurance, I am sure this would be quite “usable” until another phone comes along. (Devil’s advocate)