It looks like Amazon is preparing to release a line of phones known as Amazon Ice. That name may sound strange considering Amazon have a Fire lineup of tablets, but what you may or may not know is that once upon a time Amazon entered the phone market with the Amazon Fire phone. This phone was similar to the Fire tablets and was considered a way for Amazon to enter a new market while building off the success of the Fire tablets. Unfortunately, the phone didn’t have the same effect on consumers and was ultimately deemed a failure, never to be spoken of again after reportedly only selling under 35,000 units. Well until now. According to Gadgets360, information has been received from two people close to the subject, of which one of them has tested at least one of the devices.
One of the most interesting parts of this information is the mention of the Amazon Ice phone coming with Google Mobile Services (Play Store, Google Mail and Search as just a few examples). This would be a first for Amazon, whose previous devices have all run on a custom version of Android but have missed out on Google Mobile Services, in favor of Amazon’s own App store and library.
Another interesting to point out is that according to the tester, the device didn’t have Alexa installed. This seems strange at first but considering that the tester said the phone isn’t running on final build software yet, I mostly suspect it is something we will see in the final software/hardware combination.
There are even some specifications for one of the Amazon Ice phones that have been revealed by the tester. It’s claimed the test device has a display size between 5.2 and 5.5 inches and has a 13-megapixel rear shooter. The SOC is claimed to be a Snapdragon 435 paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. This gives the phone a rather mid-range feel, but if the claimed price of $93 is anything to go by, then it could well be a decent enough device.
That price mentioned above puts the Amazon Ice phone in the same price area as devices from Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei and other Chinese brands. If it rings true then this is likely to be one very exciting phone lineup. The inclusion of Google Mobile Services could just be what Amazon needs to get somewhere in the Mobile market.