We previously shared rumors that online retail giant Amazon was considering expanding its mobile device offerings by releasing their own smartphone. Now, we’ve got reports that give further details about their plans and how far along they are.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is still undergoing tests with their partner suppliers. One manufacturing firm that they are currently in talks with, according to knowledgeable sources, is Foxconn. This is the same manufacturer that has worked with Apple on various products, including the iPhone.

Amazon Smartphone

Current information suggests that the Amazon smartphone will run Google’s Android OS and will have a screen falling in the 4 to 5 inch sweet spot. Amazon is also reportedly not planning to release a top-of-the-line Android device but instead will go after the budget market. As we have seen with the Kindle Fire, one of the reasons for its success in the tablet market is its relatively low price of $199, far below Apple’s iPad which retails for about $500.

It’s possible that their plan to release a budget Android Amazon smartphone is an attempt to stay on the same path that has made the Kindle Fire appealing to consumers.

Sources are also pointing out that it will be unlikely for us to see this smartphone by the holiday season. Production of the Amazon smartphone is not expected to commence until “late this year or early next year.” This means that the iPhone 5 will be unchallenged and will probably rule in terms of sales on the last quarter of this year.

Do you think an Amazon smartphone is necessary? Will they be a welcome entry in the intensifying smartphone wars? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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