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Amazon ‘planning iPhone rival’

Sources claim Amazon   is already aggressively acquiring wireless patents and working Foxconn, the   maker of the iPhone.

Although the site, made its name as an online book shop but has since expanded   to make its own devices such as the Kindle ereader and the Kindle Fire   tablet. A phone would allow Amazon to continue its strategy of selling the   devices through which users view the films, books and music it also sells. Samsung   and Apple shipped   the bulk of the 398.4 million smartphones sold in the first quarter of 2012   alone, according to analysts IDC, and Amazon is keen to capture a slice of   that growing market.

Commentators have   been speculating for months that Amazon is planning a new device, but   details have been limited. Amazon declined to comment.

Last year, Citigroup speculated that Amazon could sell its smartphone,   reckoned to cost between $150 and $170 to build, at a loss as it does with   the Kindle Fire. “For a normal brand like HTC, they need to price the   product at $243 to make 30 per cent gross margin,” a research note said. “If   Amazon is actually willing to lose some money on the device, the price gap   could be even bigger.”

Bloomberg   reported that Amazon considered buying patents from InterDigital that were   later acquired by Intel, and that it is currently considering other options   as well. Amazon has recently hired Matt Gordon, formerly senior director of   acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management, the company that was   founded by former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold and   owns more than 35,000 intellectual property assets. Gordon will be general   manager for patent acquisitions and investments at Amazon, according to his   profile on LinkedIn.