There have been many rumours in the past that Microsoft and Amazon could both be launching their own smartphones. In what may come as a backing to these rumours, a report by Digitimes claims that Foxconn International Holding (FIH), a subsidiary of Foxconn Electronics, has landed the order to manufacture handsets for Microsoft and Amazon. The handsets from these brands will be launched in mid-2013
There have been a number of rumours in the past claiming that Microsoft would be launching the Surface smartphone. However, there had been no concrete proof of the same. The move by Microsoft to launch an own-branded smartphone would be great for Microsoft as it won't need a third party manufacturer to run its home-grown OS, Windows Phone 8. In the recent past, Microsoft has shown that it can successfully launch hardware too, as it has recently launched the Surface RT tablet.
A Microsoft handset may be manufactured by Foxconn
On the other hand, Amazon was also believed to be launching a Kindle smartphone when it announced its latest Kindle e-readers. However, this did not materialise.
According to the report by Digitimes, “Foxconn International Holding (FIH) has reportedly landed handset orders from Microsoft and Amazon and is set to launch the devices in mid-2013, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. However, both the parent company Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) and FIH declined to comment about clients or orders. Foxconn is the major manufacturer of Apple's iPhone products, while its subsidiary FIH has clients including Nokia, Sony, Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE. Microsoft's own-brand handset will adopt its Windows Phone 8 operating system, the sources noted.”
The sources went on to inform Digitimes that the initial shipment volume from the brands would be limited, and it may become a new business model for these manufacturers in the future.
In July, a report by The Wall Street Journal stated that Amazon is taking the plan forward and is already working with component suppliers in Asia to test a smartphone and in the process, expand on its mobile device offerings.
A rumour that has been circulating around this smartphone pertains to the size of the display it will feature. The report by The Wall Street Journal stated, “Officials at some of Amazon's parts suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Seattle-based company is testing a smartphone and mass production of the new device may start late this year or early next year.” Commenting on the size of the new phone's display, the report adds, “One person said the screen of Amazon's smartphone currently being tested measures between four and five inches.”
Similarly, an October report by Windows Phone Central shared some views on Microsoft unveiling a smartphone, “Information has come forward to Windows Phone Central that demonstrates Microsoft does have their own Windows Phone hardware in the works; in fact, we’ve heard it already exists and is in testing. The source(s) are known to us and not anonymous, though for obvious reasons we must keep them off the record”.