Reports of an Amazon-branded smartphone have been circulating for quite some time now.
However, it now appears as if such a device may very well be a reality, as the handset is likely to make its official debut tomorrow alongside Amazon's revamped tablet and e-reader lineups.
According to The Verge, the Seattle-based corporation has developed a smartphone that runs a variant of the Kindle Fire's Android-based operating system.
"The phone itself is said to be currently unfinished, so [even] if Amazon does announce it we wouldn't expect too many details," explained Nilay Patel of TheVerge.
"But at this point we would expect it to run a forked version of Android 4.0 as the leaked Kindle Fires seem to do, and to include Nokia Maps as the location solution. [Remember], forking Android means Amazon can't use Google Maps, and Nokia spoke today of adding a 'major' mapping partner at its own Windows Phone event."
Meanwhile, the folks at Engadget are reporting that a recent pair of hits found in an app's hardware usage logs appear to have originated from a new device identifying itself as "AmazonKFTT" instead of the much plainer "AmazonKindleFire" language associated with the original model.
"There's also signs that Amazon has upgraded the OS underneath to Android 4.0.3. We wouldn't anticipate this particular slate carrying a quad-core chip to tackle the Nexus 7 head-on, though," writes Engadget's Jon Fingas.
"Unless the KFTT variant is just a firmware-updated Kindle Fire with a name change, the next generation should still have at least one dual-core tablet in the range."
As TG Daily previously reported, Amazon is widely expected to debut a new lineup of Kindle Fire tablets during its upcoming September 6 press conference in Santa Monica, California. Interestingly, recent reports indicate the online retail giant may postpone the roll-out of its 10-inch Kindle Fire in favor of devices that are smaller than Apple's dominant iPad.
According to AllThingsD, the larger Fire is "definitely not a done deal," as "it's not clear if Amazon is ready to roll one out quite yet."
"There might, though, be a slightly larger version, perhaps around eight inches or slightly more," said Tricia Duryee of AllThingsD. "While not getting a 10-inch version might disappoint some, with Apple's latest iPad expected to be a smaller version, sources said that competing head on with the old one is a possibility but might not come in this iteration."
In the meantime, Amazon has announced that it no longer has any more Kindle Fires to sell as the online retailer prepares to refresh its tablet lineup.
"This has been a big year for digital products on Amazon - all of the top 10 sellers on Amazon.com since Kindle Fire launched just less than a year ago are digital products," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos confirmed in an official statement issued last week. "Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead - we will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem."