When the Kindle Fire became a surprising success, and ended up spawning a line of solid tablets, Amazon was confident enough in its ability to create successful hardware that it decided to release its own smartphone, and this the Fire Phone was born. As I’m sure you remember, that ended up being a colossal failure that made many people wonder if Jeff Bezos was the right man to lead Amazon, but that’s all behind us now. That being said, Amazon isn’t finished with smartphones, but this time around, the company wants to replace Google as the supplier of the software that powers Android devices, rather than developing its own hardware.
Amazon’s Fire Phone was a noble and interesting effort, but unlike most of the company’s devices, it didn’t come with a market-beating price – and it failed to find many customers. Still, Amazon said it would try again. However, The Information claims that Amazon won’t in fact try to make another smartphone, but instead try to partner up with existing phone makers to load its software and services onto their devices. Imagine the next Samsung or HTC phone you snag coming with Amazon features like Firefly, or even an app based on the Echo platform – it could happen, apparently. Some phones already come preloaded with the Amazon shopping and Kindle reading apps, thanks to deals with phone manufacturers and certain carriers, but this report suggests that Amazon will try spreading more of its influence onto other devices. In a way, the move could try to wrest some control of Android away from Google, if Amazon can replace some of its essential services. Rather than make its own device, we wonder if Amazon might partner with a hardware company to make a forked version of Android without core Google services – essentially, a Kindle Fire or Fire Phone from a third-party manufacturer. With the Amazon Appstore being pretty well stocked on apps and games, it’s not a stretch to imagine a phone released without Google Play access.