Amazon may have recruited HTC to build its range of long-rumored smartphones, according to anonymous sources speaking to the Financial Times. This is the second round or rumors regarding Amazon’s smartphone plans to turn up this month, following news the company is working on a 3D interface which uses four cameras on the front of the device to track head and eye movement. The phone has been given the codename Smith, while a second, more basic phone is known as Project B. The Financial Times says Amazon actually has three smartphones in development, but only one is in the advanced stages of completion.
HTC is an excellent choice for Amazon, as t’s working with the company responsible for one of the best looking Android phones on sale today, the HTC One. If the report is accurate, Amazon stands to gain considerable attention thanks to putting HTC at the helm of its manufacturing, far more so than if it continued with firms such as Compal, which are removed from the public eye.
As for HTC, the news could be proof it’s making a return to old habits to help ensure its survival. The company is no stranger to building hardware for other people. Before it found success using its own name, and some ten years ago now, HTC built smartphones for a wide-variety of firms to re-brand and sell as their own, including T-Mobile, Qtek, O2, and i-mate. It has recently dabbled in this strategy again with the HTC First, which was co-launched with Facebook as the world’s first phone with Facebook Home installed from the factory. While the phone wasn’t a roaring success, it proves HTC is still happy to work with other companies.
So, are we going to see an HTC-built Amazon smartphone this year? Probably not. Amazon has said it doesn’t intend to launch a phone this year, and according to previous reports, any tentative 2013 dates have been pushed back already. The Financial Times’ sources are even more negative, saying, “The timeline for launch has been changed before and Amazon may yet decide not to release the device.”