Amazon in talks with UK networks regarding Fire phone

Mobile & tablets

by Michael Moore| 19 June 2014

O2 and Vodafone will reportedly carry the new device, but no concrete release date yet confirmed.

UK customers should be able to get their hands on Amazon's new Fire smartphone within the next few months, despite the device initially being launched as a US exclusive, it has been reported.

The online retail giant is in talks with both O2 and Vodafone concerning bringing the device to the UK, several sources familiar with the company told the Financial Times.

Announced last night at an Amazon event hosted by CEO Jeff Bezos, the Fire phone will initially be confined to the US as an exclusive for carrier AT&T, being put on general sale on July 25, before later expanding to other markets.

Pre-orders for the device (pictured below) began immediately following the announcement, with the company saying that customers in other markets will have to "stay tuned" for information on release dates.

Fire phone

O2 and Vodafone both refused to comment on the rumours. A partnership with the latter would not be surprising, however, as Amazon already has a pre-existing relationship with the carrier, which provided the data plans shipped with the company's Kindle tablets and e-readers.

O2 is also well-known for getting first-option deals, having famously signed a deal to exclusively provide Apple's first ever iPhone in 2007, giving the company a significant head start on its competitors.

The company has previously released both its Kindle Fire tablet and Fire TV set-top box in the US, with the former extended to international markets a year after its initial release.

Looking to take on the likes of Apple's iPhone 5S and Samsung's Galaxy S5, the Amazon Fire phone will start at $199 for the 32GB model. Weighing just 160g and measuring 0.9cm thick, it is powered by a 2.2Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 2GB of RAM.

Running Amazon's Android-based Fire OS 3.5, the device features a 4.7in screen capable of displaying 3D images and a 13MP rear camera with optical image stabilisation which Bezos says will take better photos than its competitors no matter the situation.

 

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