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Amazon could ship smartphone at the end of the year

Firm testing handset with a screen size of between 4-5ins.

Amazon

Amazon is set to be testing a smartphone with its component suppliers in Asia and could start mass producing the device later this year.

Details are thin on the ground, but the smartphone is expected to be shipped with a screen size of between four and five inches, according to the Wall Street Journal. This would give it a similar form factor to the Samsung Galaxy S III, which has a 4.8in screen and possibly the iPhone 5, which is rumored to have a screen over four inches in size.

With demand for smartphones rising globally, it is not a surprise Amazon is looking to translate its success into the mobile space.

Amazon may use a skinned version of the Android operating system, like it has with its Kindle Fire tablet, and possible even a dual-core processor.

The online retailer has had huge success with its Kindle Fire tablet. The 7in device was agressively priced at $199 and has proved popular with consumers as Amazon tied it closely to multimedia content from its store.

Analysts at IDC have predicted that the global smartphone shipments will grow 38.8 per cent to 686 million units, this year

Samsung and Apple will make up the lionshare of the market. However, Chinese firms such as ZTE and Huawei are looking to aggressively expand and if Amazon can replicate the success it has had in the tablet market, it may grab a substantial share too.

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