Amazon may give away own-brand smartphone for free, report claims

The plan to go against the titans of the smartphone industry could be to charge nothing

According to a new report, online retail giant Amazon are considering giving away their own-brand smartphone for free in an effort to take on Apple and Samsung

The elusive Amazon own-brand smartphone is yet to be unveiled but according to a report, the company may consider giving the device away for free to consumers.

Previously at The Wall Street Journal, blogger Jessica E. Lessin has posted that Amazon is considering giving away its smartphone for free but states there are many unanswered questions about what this kind of deal will entail.

Amazon, the company behind the e-reader Kindle, also offer a loyalty program called Amazon Prime.

It is unsure whether the consumers gifted the smartphone would have to become members of Amazon Prime in order to operate the device.

According to Lessin, "people familiar with the matter said that Amazon wants the device to be free whether or not people sign up for a new wireless plan at the same time."

Amazon's rumoured plan would be part of a wider strategy to take on smartphone giants Apple and Samsung with their devices such as the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4.

Lessin's anonymous sources are reportedly skeptical about Amazon's "ability to pull off a free device."

If Amazon did develop their smartphone it would be a 'forked' version operating on the open-sourced version of Google's OS but without preloaded Google apps.

Amazon would have to make up the cost of offering the smartphone for free by generating enough revenue through digital sales.

A method it already practices with the lowest-priced Kindle Fire.

Check out T3's five reasons why Amazon's smartphone could be a success by clicking here.

Source: Jessica Lessin