Amazon Crushes Rumours of ‘Free’ Smartphone Launch in 2013

On Friday afternoon Jessica Lessin, a former journalist for the Wall Street Journal, reported Amazon was set to launch its rumoured smartphone plans this year and the device–would be free. Sources told Lessin Amazon had started to negotiate with carriers about setting up hardware sales.

Now, in a rare turn of events, Amazon has actually responded to the story, denying any truth to the story, in a response to Lessin’s publication:

A spokesman for Inc. said Sunday the online retail giant won’t launch a smartphone this year, and that if it did launch one in the future, it “would not be free.”

The statement by Amazon came 48 hours after we reported that the company was considering introducing a smartphone for free to consumers, according to people with knowledge of its smartphone development efforts.

Amazon is known to create and sell hardware at cost to customers, in return making profits via digital book, music and video sales, as seen with its competitively-priced Kindle Fire tablets, which landed in Canada this June.

Rumours of an Amazon developing a smartphone to compete with the iPhone and Android devices were reported last July by Bloomberg. This March, reports from the Far East claimed a 4.7-inch smartphone was set to launch this year. Two months later, the WSJ cited Amazon was developing a smartphone with a 3D display.

Theoretically, the company could easily produce another lower cost device and have it available for free on contracts, but it looks like it wants to squash any rumours of that happening anytime soon.