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Amazon readies smartphone with 3D screen to take on Apple, Google and Samsung

James Temperton
14 Apr 2014
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9
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Amazon's first smartphone will have a 3D screen and is expected to launch in September

Amazon will release a smartphone with a 3D screen in September in a bid to break into the lucrative handset market.

The retailer has been demonstrating the handset to developers in top-secret meetings in Seattle, with the phone expected to be unveiled in June ahead of its September launch.

Sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal said that Amazon's phone would have "retina-tracking technology", which uses four front-facing cameras to track a person's eyes and display a 3D image without the need for glasses.

The 3D screen will be able to sense movement, so could zoom in and out as it is moved closer and further from a person's face. This would allow it to "manipulate text and images as a person moves the phone", according to the report.

It still isn't known what operating system the Amazon smartphone will run, nor what the phone will look like. While the Fire TV set-top box and Kindle Fire tablet both run Google's Android operating system, they use Amazon's own interface and app store.

Amazon is now preparing a massive order as it readies the smartphone for release. A person briefed on the company's plans said it had put in an initial order of 600,000 units. Japan Display, the same company that makes screens for Apple's iPhone 5c and 5s will also make the screen for Amazon's phone.

Amazon has been briefing app developers in secret meetings over the past few weeks to demonstrate the handset and encourage companies to work on apps.

In the past Amazon has looked to make profit from its devices by selling content such as movies, TV shows and e-books. It is thought that an Amazon smartphone would work in a similar way, with a low-priced handset that is dependent on people spending money on Amazon services.

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