Despite failing to capture the market in 2014 with the Fire Phone, online retail giant Amazon is said to be developing a new "Ice" smartphone, according to NDTV Gadget 360.
Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom's Guide
Insiders reveal that unlike the Amazon Fire, which was discontinued within a year due to poor sales, the Amazon Ice will run under the latest Android operating system and run Google apps. This was a major fault in the Fire, since it was essentially an Android phone that was unable to use Google Mobile Services.
Not only will the new Amazon phone be compatible with Google and Android, but it will also reportedly include a 13-megapixel rear-camera, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. According to a source, Amazon is testing displays between 5.2 and 5.5 inches. Compared to other Android devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6, the Amazon Ice is smaller in size and memory because it's aimed at emerging markets. One insider even says Amazon is aiming to launch one smartphone in India within the year at a price point of Rs. 6,000, which is equivalent to approximately $93.
Other rumored features include a fingerprint scanner, Snapdragon 435 processor and Google’s AI Assistant. The current test version of the phone doesn’t use Alexa, Amazon’s AI digital assistant, but it may be implemented into the software later on. If Alexa is successfully integrated in the Amazon Ice, then consumers should expect a shift in price before the phone’s launch.
Amazon sold less than 35,000 units of the Fire Phone before the online retailer abandoned its smartphone venture, reportedly losing out on $170 million in 2014. The Fire’s lackluster features for the expensive price tag didn't help, nor did the phone’s exclusivity to AT&T.
Amazon may be able to redeem itself if the company has taken note of how the Fire failed. Between Samsung, LG, Moto and Google, however, the smartphone folks at Amazon sure have their work cut out for them.