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Amazon Ice Phone: Is the company working on a new handset lineup?

Amazon Ice Phone: A new report claims Amazon is working on a new line of smartphones, codenamed “Ice”. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the Amazon Ice Phone?

After discontinuing the Fire Phone in 2015, Amazon has stayed pretty quiet on the smartphone front, but that’s about to change according to a new report from Gadget 360.

What makes these new smartphones different to the Fire Phone is that they will supposedly work with the full range of Google services, including the Play Store.

The phones will also reportedly run the latest version of Android (currently 7.0 Nougat), with “Ice” likely just a codename and not representative of the final branding.

Citing “two sources familiar with the matter,” the report claims Amazon is looking to tackle emerging markets such as India with its next smartphone effort.

Related: Best smartphone

Google Play StoreThe Phone is said to be compatible with the Google Play Store

If the report is accurate, the ability to use Google services and the targeting of emerging markets represents a change of course for Amazon.

The company’s current tablet range doesn’t offer compatibility with Google apps, and the Fire Phone was restricted to the US and a few other western markets.

Amazon Ice Phone Specs – What hardware is Amazon using?

Of course, there’s nothing concrete to go on at this point. Amazon is yet to acknowlege the existence of any new smartphone, but the report does contain some information in this regard.

First up, it’s claimed the handset comes with a display between 5.2 inches and 5.5 inches, a 13-megapixel rear-camera, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. Powering the whole thing is a Snapdragon 435 SoC.

Related: Amazon Fire TV

Google Assistant

According to the report, onboard you’ll find Android 7.1.1 and with Google’s AI Assistant, while round the back there’s said to be a fingerprint scanner. The inclusion of Google Assistant is interesting, as the source says Amazon has chosen not to include its alternative, Alexa – though they also claim Alexa could be added by the time the phone is finished.

Amazon Ice Phone Release Date and Price

While there’s no official confirmation of the release date, or even that the phone range exists, the report does include the claim that Amazon will look to launch at least one phone in India this year.

The phone that is said to be launching in India this year is likely to be priced at around Rs 6,000 (roughly $93), according to the report.

At this point, again, nothing’s been confirmed, so take all the above with a pinch of salt.

Let us know what you think of Amazon’s reported plans in the comments.

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