Bloomberg News is today lending further credence to rumors of an HTC-manufactured Amazon smartphone. A new report claims the two sides have held discussions since June for a handset that could be sold to members of Amazon's Prime subscription service. But Bloomberg News warns that a final decision on moving forward with the project "hasn’t been made," nor has a release timeframe been nailed down. Yesterday, The Financial Times reported that three separate Amazon phones are currently in development at HTC, with one of those products approaching completion.
Despite the persistent rumors, Amazon has publicly stated that it does not intend to release a smartphone this year. The online retailer has also disputed one report that said such a device would be offered for free. Tying Amazon Prime's Instant Video and streaming services into a future offering makes perfect sense from a business perspective, though selling exclusively to those customers would be a rather unusual rollout strategy. Still, it could allow the company to pre-program its smartphone with customer account credentials — perhaps in a manner resembling Google's customization of Nexus devices purchased from its store.