Amazon Fire Phone release date, news and features

Update, June 18: Launch day is here, but where the Amazon phone is released remains a matter of concern. The reason? It seems it's destined to be an AT&T exclusive, continuing on with a partnership the US carrier has regarding data for Kindle tablets and e-readers.

Even rival carriers are complaining of the exclusivity, ostensibly confirming that indeed, the Amazon Fire phone will be a one US-carrier pony.

Update, June 16: The smartphone campaigning is in full swing. Amazon announced two days before its device launch event that its proprietary Appstore has nearly tripled its offerings year-over-year.

The Amazon Appstore now boasts 240,000 applications and games, is available in nearly 200 countries and across numerous devices. A smartphone is never mentioned in the release, but you can connect the dots.

Developers are also doing quite well for themselves in making Kindle Fire money, with 65% of those surveyed saying the total take in was equal to or better than other platforms (*cough* iOS and Android *cough*). The survey was sponsored by Amazon, so take its results as you will.

Amazon's reason behind the announcement? It wants you to know its phone won't be an app-less piece of plastic and developers, you know you want to make apps and games for it, right?

Update, June 13: Amazon is being quite the tease with its June 18 device launch event. Copies of the children's book Mr. Pine's Purple House are arriving in journalists' (physical) mailboxes, along with a note from CEO Jeff Bezos.

"Enclosed is my favorite childhood book … I think you'll agree that the world is a better place when things are a little bit different," the note read in part.

Mr. Pine's Purple House (available on Amazon, by the way) is about a man who comes up with a solution to make his house stand out amongst "FIFTY white houses." Bezos, it seems, is hinting that we're in for a device that will have something unique to offer amongst a perceived sea of sameness.

Update: This looks to be it. Amazon is hosting an event in Seattle on June 18. While we lack confirmation from the e-tail giant it's truly smartphone time, reading the tea leaves gives us a pretty good inkling the phone will finally show its face then and there.

A video posted alongside the event announcement features a number of "Amazon customers" gob smacked by an unseen device in their hands. Phrases like "awesome," "oh whoa," and "I've never seen anything like this" float from the people's mouths, but what's most telling is the swaying of their heads that suggest a glass-free 3D UI is present on the device.

One woman says, "It moved with me," a description that falls in line with what we've heard about the phone's interface before.

You can watch the video for yourself below, and if you really want to be one of the first to see the Amazon phone, fill out this form for a chance to snag an invite to the launch event.


With the runaway success of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet - the media-happy device owns over half the Android tablet market - it seems only natural that the company would turn to smartphones next.

Like the Kindle Fire, an Amazon smartphone would be a veritable home-shopping network - replete with Kindle books, Android apps and Amazon Prime video - only as a phone, making it (in Amazon's eyes) the only device users would really need.

Given the anticipation that's built up around a product that's not even certain to exist, we figured it wise to compile all the rumors and speculation in one place.

What does the Amazon phone look like?

Several purported images of the Amazon phone have leaked. The first, outed by BGR in mid-April, revealed a possible prototype. It's not official, but several sources are reporting that the 4.7-inch handset pictured here is Amazon's smartphone. The display is reported to be 720p, with a Snapdragon processor of unspecified power, and 2GB of RAM.

Amazon phone release date

Does it leave something to be desired?

The phone also has a whopping five front-facing cameras, with four likely related to previously rumored features such as head tracking for 3D effects and gesture controls.

Then, on May 1, BGR was back with a render of the Amazon phone - sans protective armor - that was supposedly developed for internal graphic design use.

The device shown looks an awful lot like a cross between a Samsung Galaxy S5 and Apple iPhone, and an older iPhone at that. Hopefully its rumored tilting, gesture and head-tracking controls make up for what it lacks in aesthetic revolution.

We think our 3D video render is far more exciting:

What will the Amazon phone be called?

The codename for this device is said to be Duke. Duke is pegged as the flagship model; a cheaper budget option may come along at some point.

Amazon may take cues from its other hardware and call it the Kindle Fire smartphone. This is pure speculation on our part, but it seems possible.

Amazon phone price

Rather come in at the top of the price tier, Amazon might clean up on the bottom. Rumors peg Amazon's phone as a budget device. Cheap has always been the name of the Amazon phone price game, in part because it's assumed that Amazon would sell the device wholesale (or maybe even at a loss) in order to further expand its digital content distribution.

That doesn't mean it will be a hunk of junk though; Amazon's Kindles are all bottom dollar devices with great builds and peppy internals.

CitiGroup analyst Kevin Chang said in 2011, "For a normal brand like HTC, they need to price the product at $243 to make 30% gross margin. If Amazon is actually willing to lose some money on the device, the price gap could be even bigger."

That means the Amazon Phone price could sink as low as $170 (around £101, AU$181) or even $150 (about £89, AU$160), though Amazon would surely make up the difference somehow - just like it does with the Kindle Fire.

We wouldn't be surprised to see the phone drop to $99 (about £58, AU$105) if it means Amazon can get more eyes on its hardware (and by design its accompanying software).

No, the Amazon phone won't be free

We've heard of free shipping and low-priced phones on a two-year contract, but one rumor was simply ridiculous: Amazon was tipped give its handset away for free.

The company quickly put that theory to bed though. In 2013, Amazon said at the time it had no plans to release a phone that year, and if it does make a handset, it "would not be free." Sorry, cheapskates.

Amazon phone render

Borrowing from the competition?

Amazon phone release date

The phone's release date has been anticipated for two years now, but with a June 18 event scheduled, it seems Amazon is finally ready to put the thing to market.

We wouldn't be surprised if the Amazon phone release date was the same day as its unveiling with sales starting on, however the company may wait a few weeks to get everything right. When you're working with new features like a 3D UI, you want to guarantee it's done right.

As for regions the Amazon phone may head to, it sounds as though this will be a US-only offering to start.

Amazon phone display

According to DigiTimes, so called "industry supply chain sources" have put a ruler to the Amazon Phone. They say the handset will have a 4.7-inch display, which would put it in between an iPhone 5 and a Galaxy S5 when it comes to visual real estate.

This supposed fact, combined with a rumored low asking price, suggests that Amazon is going for the casual smartphone user, one who does not want to spend a fortune and would like to be able to carry the phone in their pocket with ease.

Amazon phone specs

As mentioned, the Amazon phone seems set to arrive with a 4.7-inch screen at 720p. The phone's processor will likely be a Snapdragon from Qualcomm, though how powerful it will be remains to be seen.

2GB of RAM will reportedly make it into the Amazon phone, and we have no word of internal storage options.

Cameras will place a key role in the Amazon phone, and it's said to house six in all. The main rear camera seems to have settled on 13MP and a standard-issue front facer stands guard ready to take selfless, facilitate video chats and access Amazon's Mayday live tech support service.

Beyond taking regular photos, the Amazon phone's back camera is said to have special optical character recognition software that can interpret and convert text captured with it.

Using this function you might snap a photo of a business card to have the phone automatically add information to your contacts, or be able to quickly translate signs written in a foreign language.

When users go to use the Amazon phone, they reportedly will only need some tilts of the device to perform the actions they want (or at least some of them) and not touch controls. What's more, tilting the Amazon phone may reveal information about things like IMDB and Yelp ratings, icon descriptions inside apps and much more extraneous yet useful goodies.

Amazon phone

Amazon teases something amazing

Amazon phone 3D features

The standout feature of the rumored handset looks to be its unique 3D interface that follows users around as they move. The best part? No glasses required.

The phone's other four front cameras are where the 3D magic happens. Situated on each corner of the Amazon phone's front, the cameras are actually low-power infrared snapper that work with sensors to track users' faces and eyes. Tracking helps the phone's software make constant adjustments to maintain the 3D visual effects.

Unlike the Nintendo 3DS, there won't be a parallax barrier that stands between users eyeballs and the LCD panel.

Because 3D is the device's standout element, Amazon has apparently included it wherever possible. Look out for special wallpapers that offer a shifting, three-dimensional effect, app icons that jump from the screen and other areas of the phone's UI that have a little something extra. Even the Amazon phone maps app is said to change the view of objects on display. Third-party app makers have also been offered the chance to make use of the phone's 3D abilities, BGR reported.

Finally, the Amazon phone's 3D powers will find a willing participant in Amazon's virtual marketplaces. Manipulating the position of the handset will reportedly give users a 3D look at product images, letting them see sides invisible in a 2D space.

Amazon phone operating system

It's hard to believe the Amazon phone will run anything other than Android, but true to its approach with the Kindle Fire tablets, this will be a highly forked flavor of Google's mobile OS.

While there may be hints of Android KitKat, look for a device laden with Amazon's own touches and a secure way to purchase goods via and video through Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Could we even see some sort of tie-in with Amazon Fire TV? Anything seems possible.

Evi to be the Amazon Phone's Siri?

Back in January 2013, Amazon acquired the startup behind a natural voice search engine similar to the Apple's Siri. Now the scent on the wind is that Amazon will be putting a chat-to app called Evi on its Amazon Phone .

It sounds logical, because Amazon would need this technology to be competitive, and it would be great on Kindle devices, too. Imagine yelling at those lock screen ads that you don't want Fifty Shades of Grey.

Will HTC make Amazon's phone?

Will Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC lend Amazon a hand with its upcoming phone? That's at least one thread of speculation on the streets.

It's the kind of job HTC has been up for in the past, crafting the HTC First for Facebook. While that phone was a fizzle, HTC know how and Amazon clout could be a killer combo. This rumor has us intrigued.

Amazon is actually working on two phones

We've debated whether it will be called the Kindle phone, Amazon phone or something else, but now it seems that Amazon is working on more than one device.

The one we're likely to see on June 18 is the higher-end variant while an entry-level version with lower-end specs and a highly competitive price will arrive later on.

That's the word coming from BGR, which has been the source for many of the Amazon phone's rumors.

Alex Roth contributed to the creation and upkeep of this hub page