The report came to the WSJ via some of Amazon.com's parts suppliers, who asked to remain anonymous. Not only is Amazon.com testing a smartphone; mass production of the device could start either late this year or early in 2013.
The report follows - by a week - a report from Bloomberg echoing the Amazon.com smartphone's development. It late 2011, Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney also reported that Amazon.com was working on a smartphone. Mahaney said the new device could cost Amazon.com around $150 to $170, and that Amazon.com would sell it for close to that price.
People familiar with the smartphone said that its screen size measures between 4 and 5 inches, which seems to be the sweet spot for the newest smartphones.
While the platform carried by the new smartphone hasn't been discussed in these reports, it seems obvious it will be Android, and most likely a forked, customized version of Android, as well. After all, Amazon.com's investment in the Amazon Appstore would point directly to that.
The Amazon Appstore isn't designed to just make money for Amazon.com. It's also designed to take the place of Google Play, which can't be installed on a version of Android that is forked as the Amazon.com version that is on the Kindle Fire is. With all that investment in place, there's no reason to believe the Amazon.com smartphone will carry anything but Android.