Amazon is reportedly working on a Kindle Fire-style smartphone and is hoping to bring the device to multiple markets by the end of 2014. According to a report from The Information, Amazon is already shopping the smartphone, codenamed “Project Aria,” among the Big Four U.S. carriers. What’s more, the e-commerce giant is also in discussions to bring the handset to Europe, China and Latin America.
Amazon has also reportedly spoken with several OEMs that could build its smartphone. Previous rumors had HTC pegged as the company’s potential partner, though The Information’s report doesn’t mention which manufacturer Amazon has chosen to make the device.
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If the Project Aria rumors are true, the handset would give Amazon another avenue to bring its media streaming services to more consumers. Interestingly, the Project Aria rumor comes on the heels of news that Amazon is increasing the price of its Prime subscription service by $20 to $99 per year.
This isn’t the first time rumors of an Amazon smartphone have surfaced. We’ve been hearing chatter about such a device since the company first unveiled its Kindle Fire tablets in 2011. More recently Amazon was said to be developing two smartphones, a high-end device with a 3D eye-tracking camera and a non-3D handset.
The 3D camera-equipped handset will feature four cameras situated at the device’s four corners that will monitor your eye movement to create the illusion of a 3D user interface. As you move your eyes, the cameras will reportedly track your movement, changing the screen based on your perspective. Other rumors indicate that the phone will also include a facial recognition feature that will block the faces of other people around the phone so only the user sees the 3D interface. The non-3D phone is said to feature an interface similar to Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, which run the company’s Android-based FireOS.
via: The Information