Amazon has been rumored for years to be making its own smartphone, but now, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it’s actually going to happen.
But the weirdest thing isn’t that Amazon’s planning on releasing a smartphone… it’s that they are going to release a smartphone with six cameras per unit. What what?
According to Kuo (as quoted by BGR, Amazon will launch its own smartphone with the next three to six months, and will ship roughly 300,000 to 600,000 units to start.
Specs-wise, it’s fairly ordinary. There’s no word on operating system (Android’s obviously the safest bet) but the hardware, Kuo says, will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a 4.7-inch display with a pixel density of between 300 and 320 ppi, a plastic housing, a 13-megapixel main camera supplied by Sony, secondary cameras supplied by Primax, and a battery sized between 2,000 and 2,400 mAh.
But it’s those “secondary” cameras that are really weird.:
“The key feature of the smartphone, we believe, will be the six cameras,” Kuo wrote. “Aside from the main camera, which is used to take pictures, and the sub camera, used for video conferencing (these are both found in all smartphones), we think the other four cameras will be used for gesture control, allowing users to operate the smartphone without touching the touch panel.”
I’m not entirely sure why a camera needs six cameras to be controlled without touching it, but I’m assuming that means one on every side: front, back, and each cardinal direction. Theoretically, then, that means you could control an Amazon Kindlephone from across the room. But is that really a big selling point?
Of course, with Apple and Samsung controlling the monopoly on smartphone profit, Amazon’s going to have some tough times ahead. That said, for Amazon, hardware has always been about selling media, not making a profit on just the silicon side of things. Maybe, just maybe, if they figure out a way to make this more attractive to media buyers (maybe by heavy Prime-related subsidies?) this idea could have legs.