Amazon's hardware efforts will soon extend into the smartphone space, with the ecommerce giant debuting a new handset this fall, according to a report.
Citing people familiar with the details, the WSJ said Amazon has been demonstrating the smartphone for developers in Seattle and San Francisco in recent weeks. The developers were reportedly required to visit hotel suites with heavy security in place in order to view the demonstrations.
Slated to begin shipping toward the end of September, the phone will reportedly feature four front-facing cameras or sensors to track the user's gaze, and offer a glasses-free 3D-viewing experience.
Previous rumors of an Amazon phone have generally focused on its mobile ecommerce possibilities, but this report includes tantalizingly specific details. Sources said Amazon's first order of handsets will be for 600,000 units, with Japan Display serving as at least one of the device's component manufacturers.
Although some say Amazon may be playing too far outside of its core competency by offering its own hardware, the Kindle has turned out to be popular device. According to a January report by ad firm Chitika Insights, which tracked post-Christmas share changes for tablet usage in 2013, the Kindle Fire fared the best in terms of eating away at the iPad's dominance in North America.
Now, nearly seven years after the Kindle's debut, it appears Amazon is ready to take on the far more challenging task of duplicating its tablet's success in a crowded smartphone space.
The WSJ report added that production of the device is expected to begin at the end of April.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.