Tags: Amazon | Smartphone | Vie | Apple

Amazon Set to Unveil Smartphone to Vie with Apple

Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 05:38 PM

Amazon.com Inc. is planning to unveil a smartphone later this month, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, plunging the world’s largest online retailer deeper into the competitive mobile-device market.

Amazon tweeted Wednesday that it was holding an event in Seattle on June 18, which will include Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, for a product introduction. The tweet included a picture of a black, thin device with Amazon’s name in silver emblazoned on it. Mary Osako, a spokeswoman for Amazon, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

A smartphone from Amazon would ramp up its rivalry with Apple, which makes the iPhone. Both companies are increasingly going head-to-head in devices such as tablets and in Web services including online entertainment, as they strive to be digital gateways to consumers. Mobile is central to that effort as more people carry gadgets and do their computing on the go.

Bloomberg News reported in 2012 that Amazon was developing a smartphone that would run on Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. was working with Amazon on the device, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

Diversifying Amazon

A smartphone would give Amazon a wider range of hardware devices to bolster its diversification into digital books, songs and movies. The company’s gadget lineup already includes the Kindle e-reader and Kindle Fire tablets. In April, Amazon introduced a $99 TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies, called Fire TV.

A smartphone would also illustrate how far Amazon has moved from being purely an online book seller. As it preps the new device, the company is entangled in a public spat with one of the world’s biggest book publishers, Hachette Book Group. Amazon has blocked the sale of some books as part of the dispute during negotiations between the two companies.

Bezos has been pouring cash into new initiatives. Amazon’s first-quarter expenses rose 23 percent, the same rate as revenue growth. With investments expected to continue for the foreseeable future, the company forecast an operating loss for the current quarter of $55 million to $455 million.

Amazon shares fell less than 1 percent today to close at $306.78. The stock is down 23 percent this year, compared with a 4.3 percent rise in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

 
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Amazon.com Inc. is planning to unveil a smartphone later this month, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, plunging the world's largest online retailer deeper into the competitive mobile-device market.
Amazon, Smartphone, Vie, Apple
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2014-38-04
Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 05:38 PM
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