rob williams goes to amazon
Image: Engadget

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has a new Director for their App Store. Robert Williams, who was the former Senior Director Business Development of the Windows Phone Division and Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), has joined the online retail behemoth.

This news is not really surprising as many executives move from one company to another for more lucrative opportunities. Rumors have been swirling around that Amazon is trying to create their own smartphone.  This is just a rumor and hasn’t been confirmed yet.

A recent report from The Wall Street Journal indicates that component suppliers for Amazon are testing a phone with a screen that measures four to five inches. The rumors started late last fall when it was reported that Amazon would launch a smartphone during the 4Q of 2012. Just last week, it was rumored that Amazon was working along with Foxconn to make their phones. With all these smartphone rumors involving Amazon going about, it seems that something is definitely up.

Amazon found success in the tech market when they first launched their Kindle eReader, a popular digital book reader that allows users to store books, magazines, and other digital publications all-in-one small but decent sized device. The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) changed the game with the iPad which was basically a larger version of the iPod Touch with more impressive features plus an eReader. Amazon then teamed up with Android(as did many other tech companies) to create the Kindle Fire, an eReader with tablet capabilities that let’s users surf the internet, play games, watch videos, listen to music, and more. What’s more, Kindle Fire is much more affordable than the iPad which makes it the perfect budget tablet. But is Amazon really ready to release a smartphone?

The current smartphone market in inundated with dozens and dozens of similar products but only a select few truly stand out. Indeed, Apple and Samsung are pretty much the dominating brands in the market, I think it would take a lot of work on Amazon’s half to create a phone that can truly compete with the rest. They need to consider the technology of the product(quality cameras with high megapixels are in demand) and 3G/LTE capabilities for speed. Alternatively, Amazon could keep their smartphone on the budget-friendly side by keeping it contract-free- a move that I think would appeal to their Kindle Fire base. The only downside to that would be compromised-quality and that could set them back even further.