HTC may be lending helping hand for Amazon's first phone

15th Oct 2013 | 20:31

HTC may be lending helping hand for Amazon's first phone

Does this break with the Alliance?

HTC has a long history of making smartphones for other companies before striking out on its own with critically acclaimed devices, the newest of which include the HTC One and HTC One Mini.

It may be back in the sidekick saddle, as Amazon is reportedly working with HTC on the online retailer's first smartphone, according to the Financial Times' unnamed sources.

The two companies are said to be at an "advanced stage of development" on one of three devices being proposed.

At least one of the sources warned that the project has been postponed before and Amazon could end up shelving the phone in the end.

This is the same cautionary language used when sources have discussed Amazon's rumored Firetube media streaming gadget that is expected to launch before the end of this year.

Not this year

Amazon smartphone rumors are at a two-year high following a report this month that it's planning two phones, one of which has four cameras for a 3D user interface.

The retailer said it has "no plans to offer a phone this year," according to a statement sent to the Financial Times.

Of course, that doesn't mean an Amazon phone made by HTC isn't being planned with a release date in 2014.

Open Handset Alliance violation?

HTC has designed and manufactured white-label smartphones for other companies, but Amazon's forked Android operating system presents a unique dilemma.

HTC is bound by the Open Handset Alliance guidelines, signed by a total of 84 companies led by Google, that ensure Android remains open source and compatible across all devices.

If the Amazon phone with Fire OS were to run a forked version of Android like its Kindle Fire HDX does right now, it could spell trouble for HTC's role in the alliance.

We asked HTC for more clarification on this and its greater role regarding Amazon's smartphone plans. We will update this story when we receive a comment.

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