Though it is not yet making a handset of its own, but Foxconn is set to manufacture Amazon Kindle phone, Microsoft Surface phone after making iPhone 5 for Apple
We have been hearing rumours of a Microsoft Surface phone ever since the first Surface tablet launched. Now, in a sort of confirmation we have further news that the said phones will be made by Foxconn, the company that makes iPhone and iPads.
What is new, is that Foxconn maybe making a phone for Amazon too. Digitimes is reporting that the Chinese phone maker has contracts with both companies to manufacture phones by the middle of 2013. The report cites “sources from the upstream supply chain,” to support its claims.
Of course it is quite possible that Microsoft is contemplating a Surface phone. When rumours of the said phone first began swirling, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop said that he had no news of such a phone. Later, he modified his comment to say that if Microsoft were to launch a Surface phone it will help the ecosystem. That bit of endorsement increases the possibility that indeed such a phone is in the works, or Nokia CEO would have no reason for voicing his support. One must also note that Microsoft has not explicitly denied the rumours.
Amazon’s phone however is a new rumour. While Amazon does make tablets, its USP there is its broad ecosystem of music, videos, on demand films, a large library of books and other products. It places it content offering front and centre in its Kindle tablets.
While that is a good strategy for a tablet, it can hardly work on a smartphone, where users want much more than content consumption. In fact, viewing movies or reading books are not very practical on a 4 or 5 inch screen. For that experience to be pleasant, a larger screen is needed. But then Amazon does not have any other strong differentiator other than its content offering.
The news from digitimes have to be taken with a pinch of salt, given Digitimes’ reputation for reporting a large number of rumours that do not work out in the end. Whether the Amazon phone rumours fall into the same category only time will tell.