Amazon to launch its own smartphone?

Amazon has hired ex-Microsoft Windows Phone veteran Charlie Kindel to work on 'something secret'. Except that everyone knows it's a new smartphone...

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 08 May 2014

In a bold move for the e-commerce giant - and a triumph of nominative determinism: Kindel working for the Kindle-maker - Amazon has hired a mobile expert to create a brand new arm of the company. 'I'm building a new team going after a totally new area for Amazon,' says the new hire. 'I'm hiring cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers, and product managers.' The word 'mobile' is a bit of a giveaway, Charlie.

That's right, Kindel will be working on a challenger smartphone to strike fear into the heart of Apple's Tim Cook, Google's Eric Schmidt and erstwhile employer Bill Gates.

Like most 'secrets' in the technology industry, this latest development appears to be just another cog in the hype machine for Amazon's new gizmo. After all, last year Amazon poached two other senior Windows Phone managers from Microsoft (a fact it made very little effort to hide). Last summer, rumours began circulating that Amazon was working with Foxconn, the (highly productive but much-maligned) manufacturer of the iPhone and many other consumer electronics devices, on a new product. Then, last November, television interviewer Charlie Rose asked Amazon chief Jeff Bezos outright if he was making  smartphone. He told the chat-show host to 'stay tuned'. Finally, in January, Amazon acquired Ivona, a computer speech provider (think Apple’s Siri) to create its own voice recognition and response service.

Yeah. Secret schmecret.

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