Marketplace has a new podcast for kids, "Million Bazillion!" EPISODE OUT NOW

Amazon coming out with a smartphone for some reason

John Moe Jul 6, 2012

Well, okay. Whatever. I guess everyone comes out with everything in tech now. Apple has a bookstore so why shouldn’t Amazon have a smartphone? Google has both. Where’s the Yahoo tablet I’ve been waiting for? What about the eBay laptop with cloud computing service? Grumble grumble.

 Bloomberg, which yesterday brought reports of an imminent mini iPad, today says Amazon is launching a smartphone.

A smartphone would give Amazon a wider range of low-priced hardware devices that bolster its strategy of making money from digital books, songs and movies. It would help Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos — who made a foray into tablets with the Kindle Fire — carve out a slice of the market for advanced wireless handsets. Manufacturers led by Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple shipped 398.4 million smartphones in the first quarter, according to researcher IDC.


It’s not a new rumor, really, and we first heard it last fall but it seems to be gaining steam. And I guess Amazon could sell apps from its own Android app store straight into the phone and make streaming video and, of course, shopping easier. Still. Seems weird. Like Facebook selling its own branded microchip. 

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.