Just imagine it handheld-sized.
Citigroup's research department is whispering hearsay that Amazon's got its own ideas for a smartphone next year. The "KindlePhone," as it's referred to in the article from All Things D, is allegedly slated for launch in late 2012. It's a fantastic idea for technophiles who have already adopted the Kindle Fire and are eager to step further into the Amazon ecosystem. And it's an amazing opportunity for Amazon to beat Apple at its own game.
Amazon's ecosystem is one that's as powerful than Apple's. Dare I say, it could be even more so if Amazon were to officially team up with Google and give them a key to the ecosystem, in exchange for Google's web app enterprise. The trick is that you're already a part of it as long as you've used Amazon to purchase something in the past. It greatly changed its game when it officially entered the Kindle Fire into the ring.
Amazon's tablet definitely had its appeal before it officially hit the market and arrived on people's doorsteps. And while some reviews may look unfavorably upon the technological shortcomings of the device it's still a game changer in many ways. It's an Android tablet that locks you into an ecosystem you've long been a part of and have already been spending your money with, anyway. It's an accessible, affordable, interactive alternative to simply perusing through the site through a browser window. And now you can give Amazon even more cash by signing up for a Prime account, which subsequently gets you speedy shipping on the hoards of products you purchase from the site and access to thousands of online videos. Oh, and let's not forget one of iTunes' biggest competitors: the Amazon music store and cloud storage. Amazon's even got its own Android market place with daily free sponsored apps. Wait, what is Apple again?
So while iTunes is still getting its bearings on playing nice with all platforms -- Apple has taken the most important step by ditching MobileMe for iCloud, which works with PCs -- Amazon could really be planning the most powerful offense of all by entering the smartphone market. At least one thing's for sure: 2012 is going to be a hell of a year for smartphones.