The Kindle line of products may be just the beginning of Amazon’s foray into hardware. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is currently developing two smartphones and an audio-only streaming device, expanding the company’s offering beyond tablets and e-readers. There have been whispers of new hardware from Amazon in the past, including a branded smartphone and a set-top box, but these new reports hint at huge shift in focus for the e-commerce giant.
One of the two Amazon smartphone may feature a 3D display that doesn’t require the use of glasses, similar to the screen on the Nintendo 3DS. The phone may manipulate images on screen depending on eye detection and tracking, giving the appearance of objects floating on or inside the device. We’ve seen smartphones attempt 3D displays in the past, such as the LG Thrill 4G and the HTC EVO 3D, but both manufacturers have since abandoned 3D.
With details of a high-end smartphone emerging, there’s a good chance that the second Amazon smartphone could be a budget phone aimed at undercutting Apple and Samsung devices. Amazon has a history of selling products at very low margins in order to price below competitors.
These two smartphones, paired with a set-top box and Amazon’s Kindle Fire line of tablets, would put the company in direct competition with Apple’s iPhone, iPad and AppleTV. The audio-only streaming device, however, is more reminiscent of the quickly deceased Google Nexus Q, leaving a bit of mystery as to Amazon’s total vision.