Is Amazon putting its new Kindle smartphone to the test?

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Rumors have been swirling that a new Kindle smartphone could be on the horizon. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any official announcements from Amazon yet.

Rumors about a Kindle smartphone first appeared last week when it was discovered that Amazon was collecting smartphone-related patents. Most tech experts suspected, from the evidence given, that a Kindle smartphone was in the early stages of development.

However, a recent report has suggested that the Kindle smartphone is much farther along in the development cycle than a lot of people anticipated. In fact, the company might be ready to start testing the phone this week. These rumors come from the Wall Street Journal, which is a pretty reputable source as far as tech industry news is concerned.

The WSJ report can be found on their site but it basically states that Amazon is about to start testing the device this week, if it hasn’t starting testing them already. Mass production of a Kindle smartphone could begin later this year. Some predict the phone could arrive in time for the holiday season, while others think we’ll have to wait for early 2013 to get our hands on the so-called ‘Kindle Phone’.

When it comes to Kindle Phone specifications, the rumors get a lot vaguer. Some people say the screen is between 4 and 5 inches, but nobody is really sure. Any information about the processor and other hardware specifics is currently unknown.

If Amazon does enter the smartphone market, it will do so at a time where it faces stiff competition. Apple’s iPhone 5 is currently in development and it could be released just before the Kindle Phone, undermining smartphone users who were just looking to upgrade.

Standing out from the crowded smartphone market could be difficult for Amazon. But if they can replicate the success of the Kindle – and bring their cheaper, more accessible online store to the world of smartphones – then their flagship phone will certainly have a fighting chance.

I find the idea of a Kindle smartphone intriguing. It seems like it could be a great win for Amazon, as they continue to try to compete with Apple in the tech space. To me their next step would be some sort of laptop; that way you could actually have a seamless integration across platforms like you can have with Apple. Lots of folks have an iPhone, iPad, and MacBook – why not a Kindle phone, Kindle Fire, and Amazon laptop?