Is Amazon working on a free smartphone?


Gigaom

Rumors of a smartphone from Amazon(s amzn) are nothing new. They have been floating around since before the inception of the original Kindle Fire. But a new report from Amir Efrati and Jessica E. Lessin (formerly of the Wall Street Journal) suggests that not only is Amazon working on a smartphone, but that it might offer it for free.

Yes, free. And not just free with a carrier subsidy. According to the report, “Amazon wants the device to be free whether or not people sign up for a new wireless plan at the same time.” Of course, Amazon wouldn’t just give its phones away if it expected nothing in return.

It is unclear, for instance, if Amazon will require customers to sign up for a subscription-based service like Amazon Prime. But this would make the most sense to me. In fact, this strategy actually sounds a lot…

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