Amazon may be prepping a low-cost smartphone for release next year, and their partner in its development is said to be Apple's iPhone assembler, Foxconn. "Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi's Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12," wrote Chang and fellow analyst Mark Mahaney in an equities alert on Thursday.
Although the development of the phone will be shared by Amazon and Foxconn International Holdings (FIH), the two Citi analysts write, "the device and multiple components" will be manufactured by TMS, another subsidiary of FIH's parent company, Hon Hai.
The analysts say that TMS "makes Amazon's E-reader and the 8.9-inch Amazon tablet" – but Amazon doesn't currently offer an 8.9-inch tablet. All current Kindles have 6-inch displays, the new Kindle Fire's display is a 7-incher, and the display on the now-discontinued Kindle DX was 9.7 inches.