Kindle Phone May Have 4.7-Inch Screen

Unnamed sources in the industry supply chain claim that Amazon's upcoming Kindle smartphone, which is slated to show its face in the second half of 2013 (likely this fall with the next Kindle Fire refresh), will be sporting a 4.7-inch screen.

The Amazon phone was originally slated for a 2Q13 release, but design delays have pushed the retail release back a quarter. Based on the new information, one of those design delays may have been over the Kindle phone's screen. Sources said that Amazon intended to use a 4.3-inch display on the device, but changed its mind and went with the larger screen due to recent consumer demand for the larger models. Amazon definitely isn't taking notes from Apple.

Another design delay reportedly stems from other "enhancements" to the smartphone specs. The sources didn't really clarify what those enhancements might be, nor were they sure if these changes actually helped push back mass production of the device until June. There's a chance the company has tweaked some of the specs to make it more competitive on the mainstream smartphone market.

The sources did confirm that Amazon is still pushing for a 2Q13 release, but is unlikely to meet that goal due to the reported delays. Development is being handled by Foxconn subsidiary Ensky Tech, the same group that's responsible for Amazon's Kindle e-readers and tablets.

Ensky was originally slated to enter the production verification test (PVT) phase in 1Q13, followed by mass production in 2Q13. But in early March the device was supposedly still in engineering verification test (EVT) mode, and now it seems that Ensky will unlikely hit volume production until late June.

Amazon has supposedly placed an order with Foxconn for five million units, and will sell the Kindle phone for $100 to $200 USD. Like Android itself, the price tag indicates that Amazon is looking to saturate the market with its Kindle device, perhaps competing directly with the current Android smartphone leader Samsung.

It's quite possible Amazon never intended to launch a Kindle smartphone before revealing its next Kindle Fire tablet refresh in September. It's presumed that the device will have close ties with the tablet line, sharing exclusive features that will help push sales of both form factors – Amazon may even offer a bundle at a low price.

But the original Kindle Fire launched in November 2011, and the 7-inch second-generation HD model was made available in September 2012. Amazon may not want to wait that long to begin its smartphone market entrance.

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  • slomo4sho
    This is a good price point. I hope they are smart enough to finally incorporate mSD expansion...
  • zyzeast
    This would be something i am interested if they let you use Play store.
  • WithoutWeakness
    They're better off with a 4.7" screen than a 4.3" one. If this is marketed as a Kindle device then it will be intended to be used as an e-reader as well as a phone. The bigger the screen the better it is for reading. It will be interesting to see how this does, especially since Kindle is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. The lower price tag will help but it will still need to be feature- and hardware-competitive with other phones in the $100-200 range (GS3 and Droid DNA come to mind, both of which have larger screens).
  • teh_chem
    I gave the kindle fire hd 7" an honest to god chance. Been using it for 3-4 months, and I have to say, I dread using it over a standard android device (have a TF101, and an android phone).

    I thought the "seamless integration" of Amazon services would win me over, despite it being a skinned OS, but alas, it didn't. I enjoy being able to watch amazon movies on it, but that doesn't change the fact that for any "real" users (i guess you could say advanced or even power users), it's a pain to use. I hate that there's no quick-switching between apps. I hate the carousel. And to top it off, my device is always lagging. This is the same for my father in law's KFHD as well (the lagging is not an isolated incident).

    I couldn't imagine putting up with this on a phone, which is an inherently more-multitasking-oriented device. For a recreational tablet, ok. For a phone, no way. IMHO, I'd be more likely to buy another kindle fire/amazon tablet if it were just a vanilla-esque version of android. But I know I'm not everyone...
  • house70
    Could be interesting in therms of "hackability". For that price point I could see quite a few talented people getting to "work" on it.