Amazon wants to offer people a five-finger discount on their upcoming smartphone, according to a new report.
Former Wall Street Journal reporters Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin, citing sources at Amazon with knowledge of the company’s plans, say that the Seattle-based retail giant is contemplating a plan to make a big splash in the smartphone market by offering consumers a free smartphone with or without a contract.
If Amazon manages to pull that off, it would be a major change in the smartphone ecosystem. While other smartphone manufacturers offer consumers a free phone when they sign a contract with a cellular carrier, it’s rare for them to give away a handset.
Rumors surrounding the purported phone reached a fever pitch this summer when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spent time in Silicon Valley at Lab126, the company’s secretive hardware research and development devision.
No word yet on when the mythical phone will make it into the hands of consumers, though.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.