Thursday, July 12, 2012 reported testing own smartphone, could release in late 2012 or early 2013

There has been more "confirmation" regarding the smartphone we have written about previously - twice. The Wall Street Journal has issued its own report, saying the giant Internet retailer is already testing a smartphone.

The report came to the WSJ via some of's parts suppliers, who asked to remain anonymous. Not only is 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 smartphone's development. It late 2011, Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney also reported that was working on a smartphone. Mahaney said the new device could cost around $150 to $170, and that would sell it for close to that price.

iSkin touch Vibes
Just as with the Kindle Fire tablet, could sell the smartphone as a loss leader.'s aim with the Kindle Fire has not been to make money with the tablet itself, but to generate sales in its online store, including Amazon MP3, the Amazon Appstore and Amazon Instant Video, its Netflix rival.

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,'s investment in the Amazon Appstore would point directly to that.

The Amazon Appstore isn't designed to just make money for 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 version that is on the Kindle Fire is. With all that investment in place, there's no reason to believe the smartphone will carry anything but Android.

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