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Published: Wednesday, 6/18/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

Amazon set to release smart phone

Amazon is about to jump into smartphones; can it compete with the big players?

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Amazon is holding a launch event today in Seattle for what media reports indicate will be a smart phone. Amazon is holding a launch event today in Seattle for what media reports indicate will be a smart phone.
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NEW YORK — Amazon, a company of seemingly boundless ambition, appears to be venturing into yet another market: smart phones.

The corporate juggernaut that started out with books and soon moved into music, video, cloud computing, and Kindle e-readers is holding a launch event today in Seattle, and media reports indicate the product will be an Amazon phone — perhaps one with multiple cameras that can produce 3-D photos.

Amazon declined to comment, but analysts said the goal is almost certainly a device designed to get customers to buy more things from Amazon. It might include an Amazon shopping app or other features tied in tightly to the products the company sells.

“It’s Amazon. That says to me the core value proposition is going to be about shopping,” said Ramon Llamas of the research firm International Data Corp.

Amazon’s phone comes at a time when the nation’s largest ecommerce company is at a crossroads.

Its stock, which surged for years despite narrow profits, has dropped 18 percent in 2014 to about $326, in part because investors have been losing patience with its habit of plowing revenue back into new ventures.

Analysts said the move into smart phones is a bit of a head-scratcher, because the company is a late entrant into the highly competitive market.

For all its success with other products, Amazon will be hard-pressed to compete with Samsung and Apple, the No. 1 and 2 mobile phone companies in the world.



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