Insider reveals launch timing and specs for mysterious Amazon smartphone

Amazon Smartphone Release DateImage Source: Adrienne Third, Flickr

After years of rumors, Amazon will finally launch an own brand smartphone within the next three to six months. So says KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose reputation for accurately revealing device vendors’ plans long before they are announced definitely precedes him.

Kuo is widely known for his Apple research, which is easily the most accurate in the world among Apple analysts. For the past few years, the industry watcher has delivered accurate early details surrounding nearly every major product Apple has launched.

He also covers Samsung on occasion, and now his sights are set on Amazon and its suppliers as well.

“We predict Amazon (US) will launch its own brand smartphone in 3-6 months, using the same hardware strategy as used for its e-reader and tablet,” Kuo wrote on Thursday in a note to clients obtained by BGR. “The supply chain will start stocking up materials in 2Q14 for production. We estimate required components will amount to 700k-1.2mn units, and assembly to 300-600k units. Related suppliers will start to see benefits in 2Q14.”

The analyst believes that Amazon’s upcoming smartphone will feature six cameras, including one primary rear camera as well as a standard front-facing camera for video chats. The device is also said to have a special system of four additional cameras that will be used for gesture controls.

BGR, which has its own solid Amazon sources, can confirm that is indeed part of the story. More details will follow in the coming days.

“The key feature of the smartphone, we believe, will be the six cameras,” Kuo wrote. “Aside from the main camera, which is used to take pictures, and the sub camera, used for video conferencing (these are both found in all smartphones), we think the other four cameras will be used for gesture control, allowing users to operate the smartphone without touching the touch panel.”

He continued, “Given the highly competitive smartphone market, Amazon will have to provide users with a unique experience to differentiate its phone from other brands. It would do this by integrating the smartphone with its own services such as e-commerce. If Amazon’s smartphone is a hit, we would expect shipments to grow significantly due to the hardware features and business model. At the current stage, when market acceptance is unclear, we preliminarily forecast shipments of 300-600k units in 2Q14 and 2-3mn units in 2014.”

In terms of specs, Kuo says the Amazon phone will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a 4.7-inch display with a pixel density of between 300 and 320 ppi, a plastic housing, a 13-megapixel main camera supplied by Sony, secondary cameras supplied by Primax, and a battery sized between 2,000 and 2,400 mAh.

BGR has independently confirmed some but not all of those specs.

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“While Amazon’s smartphone is at the experimental stage, we think its hardware features and business model may have the potential to garner a positive market reaction, fueling robust sales growth,” Kuo concluded. “If this is the case, we believe the shares of top beneficiaries Sunnic and Primax will outperform accordingly.”

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