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To launch a Kindle smartphone, Amazon needs wireless patents and carriers

Matt Hamblen | Sept. 10, 2013
Amazon says it won't have any phone in 2013, and it won't be free

Customers would buy a Kindle smartphone "for the same reasons people buy the Kindle tablets," Metodiev said. "They are good quality devices at low prices from a reputable brand name."

Amazon will launch a smartphone "eventually" following the success of its tablets, Metodiev added. "It is only logical that the company has decided to expand its range of products and dip its toes into the smartphone market as well."

With the Kindle Fire, Amazon moved seamlessly from e-readers to tablets, while a big screen smartphone would offer a transition from tablets to phones, he added.

A Kindle smartphone would be sold at low profit margins or none at all and would "provide better value for the money than its competitors," he added.

It isn't clear how Amazon would gain access to a solid patent portfolio, but some have suggested it could buy BlackBerry or license Blackberry's patents, similar to the way that Microsoft is paying to license Nokia patents while also buying Nokia's device business. Google bought Motorola a year ago partly for access to its rich patent portfolio.

"Nowadays, it seems impossible to survive in the mobile market without a [patent portfolio], Metodiev said.

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said there is room for Amazon to enter the smartphone market, particularly if it can work out a low or mid-priced model for cellular services.

 

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