However, the prospect has regained the spotlight, at least temporarily, with reports claiming the company will launch a 5-inch, Full HD phone this year at a "fraction of the cost" of the Apple iPhone.
The Information claims to have obtained documents referring to the device by the codename "Project Aria," revealing discussions with potential manufacturing partners in EU and China went down last spring.
The documents speak of strategies for distributing the device across the United States, Europe and China this year.
The report's hint of an affordable price point is little surprise, given Amazon's previous hardware form with Kindle Fire tablets and ereaders, as well as the current direction of the smartphone industry.
Rumours late last year suggested the phone will also have 3D gesture and eye tracking, a 13-megapixel camera and a Snapdragon 800 processor. Not exactly budget specs.
However, with Amazon increasing the price of Prime to $99 (about £59, AU$109) a year in the US, perhaps it can afford to launch a cheaper smartphone?
- Hmm, "Project Aria" sounds mighty close to "Project Ara"