Amazon may launch its own smartphone in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Citigroup, Inc., citing its supply-chain channel checks in Asia. In a research note dated Nov. 17, Citigroup said it believes Amazon is collaborating on the project with Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., a contract cellphone maker based in Tucheng, Taiwan, according to TechCircle.
Citigroup expects Amazon to pay non-recurring engineering fees to Foxconn but for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. to actually make the device and multiple components. Citigroup predicts the smartphone to be a mid-end device based on the processor it adopts, but the brokerage anticipates the phone will use a Texas Instruments processor and Qualcomm's baseband chips. Such a phone could cost from $150 to $170 a piece to make.