According to the Financial Times, HTC and Amazon are looking at teaming up to work on a line of devices and these devices would appear on Amazon in the coming year. The actual status of the potential partnership is unknown as the timeline for an intended smartphone has been anything but concrete.
Regardless of the status, this would prove to be a boon for HTC who haven’t been too hot lately—and they’ve been actively trying to remedy that with an advertising campaign featuring Robert Downey Jr.—but they continue to plug along with quality hardware that will continue to draw a variety of bedfellows.
HTC has proven several times that it can put out great phones for the partner company it works with. Now, what the company it works with has in mind for that particular HTC phone is on that company—HTC First and Facebook Home comes to mind.
A working relationship with Amazon isn’t completely out of the cards. The company is like the adventurous friend who wants to try this, eat that, and go there. They worked with Google to give the world the first widely available Android device—which proved to be a wildly successful venture—as well as the Nexus line.
There’s also the mentioned Facebook venture which was still a functional HTC phone with the Android OS, but was mainly for those who just needed Facebook right there in their faces.
Basically, HTC makes a product for a larger company to put their name (and maybe some of their software) as some sort of seal of approval.
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So the question is: Why not Amazon? It seems like every company that matters and don’t/didn’t build their own devices has done it so far. All Amazon would probably put on the phone is a version of Kindle, an Amazon shopping app, and something that allows for Amazon’s streaming media service.
It’s the same as HTC phones through T-Mobile putting their own stuff in the phone and slapping their logo on the back.
Plus Amazon has its hand in many pots now–beauty salons, buying start ups, and more–it’s not unlikely or unbelievable that the online retailer could team up with one of smartphone’s popular manufacturers. Even if it’s for a few smartphones.
Word of Amazon working on a smartphone has been floating around for years. It was just a guess of who they would work with or would they do it themselves. Just this month, images were leaked via The Wall Street Journal of several devices that Amazon is working on—that aren’t Kindle-related.
The two different models—the inexpensive “Alphabet Projects” and the expensive “Project Smith”—have been in development for some time now. While the Project Smith smartphone looks impressive with its four cameras and is tinkering around with 3D views and facial recognition, the thing here is how it would ease into a thick a smartphone market.
The Amazon name itself is a recognizable brand and will likely carve out a nice slice for itself. So would Amazon need HTC? Could it Amazon possible relationship with HTC just be a means to test the waters with its name in another arena?
Working together would benefit both with Amazon’s name and pricing (if they go with the pricing they used with the Kindle Fire HDX line) and HTC’s name and craftsmanship.
Everything in this potential partnership looks bright for both companies. Whether HTC is actively working with Amazon on the secretive Project Smith and the Alphabet Projects or will merely do a line of devices that will be sold through and branded by Amazon, the two companies would complement each other nicely.