If reports are to be believed, then Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. has manufactured a smartphone model for Amazon. Taiwan Economic News has reported that the smartphone has been allegedly manufactured 'on an exclusive basis'. In fact, if the report is anything to go by, then smartphone parts makers who are part of the supply of Amazon's new model have indicated that Foxconn will ship 5 million units of the smartphone. Interestingly, the smartphone is expected to launch between the second and third quarter of next year, and is likely to be priced between USD 100-200. Reportedly, Amazon is keen on extending its offerings to the smartphone market after its success in the e-books, readers and tablet market. 

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A smartphone in the making?

The report shares further, “In fact, Foxconn has reportedly actively scrambled for Amazon’s contract order for the smartphone model earlier, in order to seek a new driver for its handset shipment after witnessing its major customers, such as Nokia, bested by other smartphone vendors.”

It was late last month, when bits about Foxconn reportedly making smartphones for Amazon first surfaced. At the time, a Digitimes report claimed that Foxconn had landed the order to manufacture handsets for Microsoft and Amazon. It had been reported then that the handsets from these brands will be launched in mid-2013. 

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.”

Amazon grabbed headlines yesterday, when it was announced that Jeff Bezos has been awarded a smartphone airbag system patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The mechanism behind the airbag patent is a built-in accelerometer adept at detecting whether the phone is falling too fast. Once it detects that, it will quickly deploy an airbag. In a brief outline of the patent in question, the USPTO site adds, “A system and method for protecting devices from impact damage is provided. Prior to impact between a surface and a device, a determination of a risk of damage to the device is made. If the risk of damage to the device exceeds a threshold, a protection system is activated to reduce or substantially eliminate damage to the device.”

In an elaborate description of the patent, it has been explained that it is essentially a damage avoidance system that is activated once the risk of damage is detected, before impact with the surface. In this sense, a damage avoidance system comprises one or more protection elements working together to reduce or prevent damage to the 'portable device' on hitting the surface.

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