Report: Amazon to Release Six-Camera Smartphone This Year
For nearly a year, we’ve heard reports about Amazon’s efforts to build its own smartphone. Rumors drop here and there, some claiming that it’s making a phone with a 3D display, others saying it’ll come out in 2014, and some even claiming that the company’s building its own wireless network, among others. Over on BGR today, one of the aforementioned rumors gets some more juice, while a brand new crazy idea gets thrown into the mix.
How would you like an Amazon phone with six cameras?
Because that’s a feature that Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst from KGI Securities of Thailand, says is coming to Amazon’s long-rumored smartphone. The post says that Kuo has a good track record for making accurate predictions, and with that in mind, seems to take a lot of his predictions as gospel—even though the predictions of six on-board cameras sound completely crazy. For its part, the post comments that BGR’s own sources corroborate the six-camera situation.
So what’s the point of a smartphone with six cameras? Here’s what Kuo has to say about that, from a letter written to KGI Securities clients:
“The key feature of the smartphone, we believe, will be the six cameras. Aside from the main camera, which is used to take pictures, and the sub camera, used for video conferencing (these are both found in all smartphones), we think the other four cameras will be used for gesture control, allowing users to operate the smartphone without touching the touch panel.
Given the highly competitive smartphone market, Amazon will have to provide users with a unique experience to differentiate its phone from other brands. It would do this by integrating the smartphone with its own services such as e-commerce. If Amazon’s smartphone is a hit, we would expect shipments to grow significantly due to the hardware features and business model. At the current stage, when market acceptance is unclear, we preliminarily forecast shipments of 300-600k units in 2Q14 and 2-3mn units in 2014.”
Touchless touch-controls, huh? This is not the first time we’ve heard about such a possibility. Late last year we heard about a patent awarded to Apple for “hover touch sensing,” which sounds similar to what Kuo is describing here, but without the use of so many cameras.
And, if you’ve been paying attention to smartphone news over the last few months, you’d know that HTC has a new handset cooking with a dual camera set up, though from what we can tell, that has more to do with actually taking photos than any kind of new interface.
The post goes on to list specs that Kuo predicts will show up in the Amazon smartphone: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a 4.7 inch display with a 300-320 ppi resolution, and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera.
This sure is a lot of specificity for a device that has yet to be confirmed in any way. Will a six-camera smartphone be coming from Amazon in the next six months? At this point, anything’s possible. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see what the mega-retailer does to lure folks into its ecosystem in yet another way.
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