As if the smartphone market wasn’t crowded enough, Amazon is rumored to be developing a mobile handset of their own to go up against Apple’s iPhone and other Android powered devices. This isn’t the first time that an Amazon smartphone has been rumored, and there at least appears to be enough steam behind this rumor to consider it a genuine possibility.

Foxconn, the notorious manufacturer of Apple devices, is said to be working with Amazon on the smartphone — aside from that, details about the rumored device are non-existent as Amazon and Foxconn are keeping their lips sealed. Whether or not Amazon will stick with the Kindle branding for this purported smartphone has yet to be seen, but it’s probably safe to assume that they’ll be using a modified version of the Android OS to power the phone.

Given Amazon’s move into tablet market with the Kindle Fire, a smartphone seems like the next logical step. Amazon Wireless is already extremely popular and it’s the perfect platform to launch their smartphone on.

With the seemingly endless patent disputes plaguing the industry, Amazon is prepping their very own patent portfolio to protect itself from the sadly inevitable legal battles they’ll have to eventually fight. They recently hired Matt Gordon, former senior director of acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, to take on the general manager role for patent acquisitions and investments for Amazon.

All signs point to a “Kindle phone” eventually entering the arena, and it could complicate an already crowded holiday shopping season for the mobile market. It should be interesting to see what sort of impact and buzz it creates if true.

[via Bloomberg]

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