With its Kindle Fire tablet fresh out the door, could Amazon be quietly preparing a phone, as well? According to a Citigroup research note quoted by AllThingsD, that's just what the company is doing.
The note says "supply chain checks" in Taiwan have revealed that Amazon has teamed up with F1H to develop the device, which is planned to hit the market in the fourth quarter of next year. Rumor has it the phone will feature a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor and cost around $150-170 to build. There's no word on what operating system Amazon will use, though.
This prediction might sound a little far-fetched, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it come to light. An Amazon phone could offer access to videos and e-books, but because of its small display, it may be better suited as a vehicle to promote Amazon's MP3 music service—something the Kindle Fire and Kindle e-book readers aren't designed to do. Also, various reports around the web have suggested that Amazon could make a bid for HP's webOS division. If that happens, the online retailer could have an easier time getting into smartphones.