Rumored Amazon smartphone to run Windows Phone?

By Tom Warren, on 18th Nov 11 6:36 pm with 37 Comments

Amazon’s rumored new smartphone could run the Windows Phone operating system, according to reports.

Amazon is reportedly preparing a 4-inch touch screen device, equipped with an 8-megapixel camera and a Qualcomm chipset. Forbes reports that the device could run Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, a surprise given that the company’s recently released Kindle Fire runs Google’s Android operating system. Citi hardware research analyst, Kevin Chang, believes the device could be ready for the end of 2012. Chang also suggests that the device is being developed with Foxconn, the company responsible for making Apple’s iPad devices.

If the reports are genuine and Amazon opts for Microsoft’s Windows Phone then it will likely run on the “Apollo” or “Tango” operating system update. Tango is believed to be an interim release between Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” and the next-generation of Windows Phone, currently codenamed “Apollo.” Windows Phone build 7.10.8200 was recently discovered in server side logs of a Windows Phone application. A screenshot, believed to be a Tango build, also leaked and demonstrated a new device search feature for Windows Phones. Tango is also expected to introduce LTE support to the Windows Phone platform, something that Amazon will likely be interested in.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Apollo will be a “very different game” according to Michael Halbherr, a senior Nokia executive who spoke to Engadget at Nokia World in October. Halbherr confirmed to the gadget site that Microsoft is planning to launch the update in mid-2012. Nokia is currently pushing Microsoft to support NFC and a better “positioning framework” for Windows Phone. Little is known about Apollo at this stage but industry insiders believe the codename will eventually become known as Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft has already started seeking customer feedback for its Windows Phone future releases. The software giant is curating feedback from end users to record the most requested features for future versions of Windows Phone. The feedback is recorded and publicly viewable for others to rate and comment on over at Microsoft’s suggestions forum. Top requests include enable all (bing)features for non US-countries, Device Backup and Turn-by-turn GPS.

  • Sebastian Gorgon

    If its cheap then i might even give it a try… like £100-£200 

    • iks

      or maybe they could give it to you for free? :P

    • Anonymous

      Free with Super-Saver shipping?

  • Anonymous

    This would be great, but I doubt it’s true.

  • Jubbin Grewal

    I’m guessing it’s a fake rumor, but rumors like this never hurt, especially from the marketing and business side of things for Windows Phone!

    However if that’s true it’s even better!

  • Anonymous

    Sounds good to me. The Amazon app integrates well with Bing Vision and the like so a phone built with Amazon built in similar to the way Twitter and Facebook is, would be a pretty innovative idea. 

  • John Mccallum


    • Anonymous

      Somebody explain this to me. What is the meaning?

    • Gurest

      Basketball analogy. Blowout score by the star player. It’s premature in this case and fairly meaningless generally.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for asking, I was too afraid to.

    • Dylan Rogers

      as soon as michael jordan came back to the nba after playing baseball he roasted the new york knicks for 55 points in dominant fashion. i think thats what he meant

    • Jubbin Grewal

      My reply to that is 81 POINTS BY KOBE BRYANT!

  • Josè Daniel

    The awkward moment when you didn’t know Amazon produces smartphones. Now I feel dumb.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to guess it has something to do with the fact that Microsoft is asking for the fees for its IP. However, the negotiations probably turned into developing a phone just for WP7.

    Microsoft, it is a pretty good deal. Go For It.

    • Gurest

      Probably. And not just MS. Apple would sue them for sure. And then you have Oracle waiting in the wings once they win the Google lawsuit and then go after Android OEMs for licensing fees. Not to mention every other IP holder and patent troll who is going to want to get their piece of the Android pie, like they have with Windows. Bezos would probably want to control his own OS. But outside of buying WebOS, there aren’t a lot of good choices. And even WebOS has unclear patent defense due to its Linux kernel. He could buy RIM, which might be a game changer. Or I suppose he might consider WP and getting MS’s indemnification, which is cheaper than “free” Android and getting sued. But then perhaps not as freely customizable. Unless of course Amazon makes an equivalent commitment to the platform as Nokia did, and MS reciprocates by giving Amazon more discretion to change it.

  • Ef Jay

    Doubtful. Amazon went with a unique look for their tablet that looks nothing like the standard android, WP wont give them that and there wont be any synergy between the Fire’s android OS and Windows Phone. Would make more sense if they had just released a $200 W8 tablet.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly.  They went far enough to completely fork Android.  I just don’t see them willing to give up that level of customization and control with Windows Phone.

  • Marczi Gábor

    I don’t believe in it, but it would be very interesting thing. A truly game changer moment. Big chance to the Microsoft.

  • Gurest

    That would be huge if true. And MS should be pushing hard to get considered if Amazon is even making a phone. But somehow I kind of doubt Amazon would opt for WP. It seems more likely they’d just continue using Android like they are for Fire, or perhaps try and buy WebOS from HP.

    I just read a detailed interview with Bezos came away with a lot of respect. He even went out of his way to credit MS with being more innovative than people think, which I thought was a surprising thing to do given that on some levels they compete.

  • Anonymous

    No way… I call BS. Amazon is very heavily invested in the Android ecosystem, the App Store, Kindle Fire and everything.  There would have to be major issues for them to move away from Android to Windows Phone.

    • Anonymous

      I call BS as well, Amazon is too heavily vested in android marketplace.  The only way i see this happening is if Microsoft does a Nokia type store and allows Amazon to do what Ovi store does.

      With that being said, Maybe Amazon is completely depressed with android and wants something different.. you have to admit, if the new kindle fire ran a windows phone type OS, it would probably be more responsive, have less gesture failure and run smoother being that the current incarnation of android isn’t nearly as optimized.

    • Anonymous

      agreed… the only thing that would pull them from Android, after all the effort they put in, would be if they ran into a fatal flaw.

      If they switched to MS they would have to build a new Amazon App Store in the Marketplace (& split money with MS) and a new music / movie store to compete with Zune. Then the final product would look nothing like their brand new Kindle Fire. 

      This just sounds wrong but, honestly, so does an Amazon Phone.

    • Anonymous

      I would agree with you that Amazon is heavily invested in the Android market, but I have one question for you. Do you think Amazon would invest in WP7 if MS threw in Windows 8 Marketplace access as well. Imagine having the Amazon market on every Windows 8 Desktop and a separate Marketplace in every Amazon based Windows Phone. Don’t forget MS just got out of an antitrust agreement that severely hampered the integration of their services.  Amazon also sells Windows software. Perhaps this is their way of avoiding any Anti-trust issues with the EU and DoJ.

    • Guest

      And maybe WP7 will be the best selling OS in the world, and maybe pigs will fly out of your back side and maybe someday you will have a thought that is not ridicules. 

      Obviously your a child, leave the deep thinking for the adults.  

  • GP007

    Amazon could use WP8 if MS gives them a special deal.  The fact the new kindle fire uses android doesn’t matter, if they could have used Windows 8 ARM then they probably would have instead, the thing is they had to rush for the holidays and android worked but look at the fire, they took out any trace of the android UI and used their own thing, their own browser (cloud based, no chrome or ff stuff) and most important is their own marketplace.

    So look at this, all Amazon has to do, and if MS thinks it’s worth it, they’ll let them make a WP device that accesses Amazons specific marketplace plus the MS WP marketplace as well.   All Amazon wants is to sell content they don’t care about the OS as long as it gets the job done.   Also, if this is true in any bit then the one way to know for sure is if in a few months Amazon talks about a new kindle fire, maybe a bigger 10″ or just a fire 2 with more storage since the current one is limited to 8GB, but the key is that it’d run Windows 8 ARM and not Android.

    That is the thing to look for, IF Amazon does a 2nd kindle fire with Windows 8 and not Android then a Windows Phone from them starts to look more and more possible.

    • Gurest

      Lot of good points there. And WP aside, W is also available in an embedded version which an OEM has broad flexibility to modify.

    • Anonymous

      Also rembember they are selling the device at a loss to sell content later. This week it was announced that the Fire was rooted. This means people can buy it and install standard Android removing Amazons marketplace. Security on WP seems to be tighter and I assume it is harder to remove Amazons integrated apps.

  • Louis Sandiford

    Doubtful it’ll happen, would be massive if it did though.

    Heard rumors about Amazon being interested in WebOS – if they got that then wave goodbye to any chance whatsoever of a Kindle WP7.

  • Alias99

    No where in the Forbes article does it speculate Windows Phone on the Amazon device.  The premise for this article seems forged.

    • Candid Calum

      You may have missed the following from the article: “Channel checks suggest the Amazon smartphone will have a 4-inch touch panel display, an 8 mega pixel camera, and adopt a Microsoft operating system.”

      They don’t specifically state that the Microsoft operating system they’re speculating about is Windows Phone, but still.

    • Alias99

      Since Windows Phone doesn’t support OMAP processors, the dubiousness factor is extremely high…

    • Todor Kainy

      Dude… Apollo is for that… All different kinds of CPUs and ither HW stuff like NFC and such.

  • JimmyFal

    Not a believer in this rumor.

  • Anonymous

    This makes no sense. The whole point of an Amazon device is to function as a direct portal to Amazon content. Windows Phone does not give you that.

  • Converse Freak

    I’d pre-order it.. :))

  • Anonymous

    “Nokia is currently pushing Microsoft to support NFC and a better “positioning framework” for Windows Phone”

    What’s a positioning framework?!

  • Anonymous

    Co-specialization would be great for both. Amazon could sneak in “kindle” as an integrated part of the WP-platform, getting a lock on that, while microsoft can gain a bigger share of the market.

    As for Amazon wanting to “Fire” it up, let them. As long as it run “Windows”, and applications are compatible across the board – who cares!