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On the heels of a report last week that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was developing its own smartphone, the Wall Street Journal is citing sources among Amazon’s parts suppliers in reporting that testing of a smartphone is already underway.
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“Officials at some of Amazon’s parts suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Seattle-based company is testing a smartphone and mass production of the new device may start late this year or early next year,” author Lorraine Luk wrote.
The report goes on to detail a large display between four and five inches, and one tipster said mass production of the device could begin as soon as late 2012.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that Amazon was working with Foxconn, one of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) main manufacturing partners, to produce a smartphone. That publication also suggested Amazon was looking to buy up wireless patents in order to protect itself from the sort of intellectual property threats that have been rampant within the tech industry.
Amazon’s smartphone could be a viable competitor for Samsung and Apple — the company already produces a popular tablet, the Kindle Fire, which runs on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS, the same mobile software Samsung and many other smartphone makers use for their products.
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