Amazon Smartphone To Be Exclusive To AT&T

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Amazon Smartphone To Be Exclusive To AT&T
By Szk7788 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Amaon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has scheduled a special event for tomorrow, and the tech world is buzzing with leaks and rumors. This time, we’re hearing that the online retailer will offer its rumored smartphone exclusively on AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s network.

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Amazon’s partnership with AT&T makes sense

The Wall Street Journal reports the AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) exclusivity, citing unnamed sources familiar with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s plans. It’s a deal that makes sense because AT&T already provides the mobile service for Amazon’s Kindle e-readers and tablets. In addition, AT&T could also be hoping to attract more subscribers as it struggles for domination in an increasingly competitive mobile market.

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Data from comScore reveals that together, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) hold 60% of the smartphone market. Meanwhile other smartphone makers like BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) and Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) have seen their market shares slide.

Amazon must set itself apart

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s big challenge is gaining a foothold in the market. Supposed leaks have suggested that the online retailer has included significant technology upgrades in its handset. The company is said to be planning four or five front-facing cameras or sensors to create a holographic 3D interface with retina tracking technology.

The company is expected to show off the smartphone tomorrow at an event it has scheduled in its hometown of Seattle. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has reportedly demonstrated the handset to developers already and is expected to start shipping the smartphone by the end of September. If this timing is correct, it could place Amazon’s smartphone release right in the same time frame as the launch of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 6.

Back in 2007 when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) released the original iPhone, AT&T had an exclusive contract with Apple for the iPhone. That agreement lasted for over three years and gave the mobile carrier a chance to pull ahead of other carriers, particularly Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ).

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for ValueWalk.com and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at Mjones@valuewalk.com.
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