AT&T expected to be exclusive carrier for new Amazon smartphone
Amazon is getting into the smartphone business and AT&T is expected to be its exclusive carrier.
The online retailer's new phone is expected to be unveiled on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal, and is rumored to be capable of displaying 3-D images without special glasses by employing retina-tracking technology embedded in four front-facing cameras.
Amazon is expected to unveil the new phone during a special event in its home base of Seattle. The company plans to start shipping the phones by the end of September, just in time for the holidays.
AT&T already provides wireless service to Kindle tablets and e-readers. By adding the smartphone, AT&T should gain a whole new set of customers.
According to Mashable.com, the new smartphone is more about shopping than talking. However, the phone should offer features that compare to those offered by Apple's iPhone 5s and Samsung's Galaxy S5.
And since Amazon is hoping that viewers will use the device to watch movies and videos, the phone is expected to have a 4.5 inch-to-5 inch high definition screen. Amazon's phone could also be the first smartphone to feature Amazon's Mayday customer service.
The 24/7 video help system features live customer service reps who can answer almost any type of question.
The new phone is expected to cost $99 to $199. It may or may not include temporary free access to Amazon price, free storage on Amazon's cloud, a year of FreeTime for kids and free data. The last offering would be significant for many people because, at this time, no other carrier offers customers free data.
Obviously, the whole point of any Amazon hardware product is to encourage people to sign up for its membership service and to purchase books, movies, TV shows, music and a variety of other products.
Amazon also recently announced the launch of Prime Music, a streaming music service that will be included in subscriptions to Amazon Prime.