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Amazon: Has Kindle Fire Success Paved Way for a Smartphone

Amazon may be coming out with its own smartphone, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The company reportedly is working with Foxconn to develop the hardware, which will likely run Amazon’s version of the Android operating system.

A phone isn’t as far-fetched of an undertaking as it might seem for the company, which has never made a handset. Amazon already has many of the building blocks it would need to make money off a smartphone, including its own version of the Android operating system, an established app store and well-stocked content marketplaces that could make up a good chunk of revenue for the phone. It also has a pool of loyal customers who trust the brand.

Amazon is relatively new to the hardware game. The company’s first entry was the Kindle e-reader released in 2007, followed by its Android-powered big brother, the Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon has had more success than many other companies in the tablet market thanks to getting in early and a low price made possible by revenue from books, movies and music.

However, the smartphone market is already filled with well-established competitors. Current market leader Samsung shipped 42.2 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter of 2012, according to research firm IDC. Apple was a close second with 35.1 million smartphones, followed at a distance by Nokia and Research In Motion.

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