Foxconn, which is most often thought of as a - if not the - primary manufacturing partner of Apple's products, is said to be working with Amazon.com on the device, according to two people with knowledge of the project. Naturally, the sources asked to remain anonymous as the plans have not yet been publicized.
While the report didn't detail the platform that will run on the device, it did say that Amazon.com's intent was to compete directly with the iPhone and Android devices. In addition, Amazon.com is seeking to acquire wireless patents to protect itself against expected legal challenges.
Amazon recently hired Matt Gordon, formerly senior director of acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management LLC. Gordon is now general manager for patent acquisitions and investments at Amazon.com.
Although the sources didn't say what platform the device would run on, is there really any question? It would most likely be a customized version of Android, based on the Amazon Appstore and the Kindle Fire's success.
Exactly when such a Kindle smartphone will appear is still unknown, although the 2011 report did mention a possible Q4 2012 release. Amazon.com will have to deal with something it didn't have to with the wi-fi only Kindle Fire: carriers.
It's something Google / its OEMs and Apple have years of experience on, and something Amazon.com will need to come up to speed on quickly.