Is Amazon finally jumping on the smartphone bandwagon? The rumor mills are abuzz after Microsoft's Director of Business Development, Robert Williams, joined the company as the director of the App store. Williams joining Amazon was made public on his LinkedIn profile, and later a tweet showed him 'check in' to the Amazon office.
Williams' move, which comes after 15 years at Microsoft, has given further credence to reports that Amazon was in the testing phase of a smartphone project. Tech blog CDNet reports,
"On Wednesday, we reported that Amazon was in the "smartphone testing" phase with plans to start production later this year in time for the Christmas holidays.
There are two things to consider here:
Microsoft could be planning on licensing out its Windows Phone operating system to Amazon to take on the giants of the iPhone and Android device base. Or, as rumours suggest, Amazon is developing for Android and Microsoft is simply unable to retain key talent and senior leads are defecting to a rival firm to make a go of it elsewhere."
A Wall Street Journal report on 11 July also suggested that an Amazon phone could be out as early as December amid rumors that the company was testing a smartphone for over a year.
According to the Market Watch blog, recent shifts in the smartphone and mobile computing markets – along with Amazon’s business objectives – make a smartphone from the company a more logical step now. The company has however remained tight-lipped on the matter, refusing to either confirm or deny the rumors.