Amazon is likely announcing its first smartphone tomorrow and all signs point to it being something special with a novel head-tracking technology. While we’ve announced most of the phone’s features over the last few months, a few questions remain including carrier support. But according to the Wall Street Journal, the phone will only be available through AT&T, extending the carrier’s long tradition of securing high-profile phone exclusives.
This is hardly the first time a phone launched exclusively on AT&T. If this WSJ report is true, the Amazon phone will join other notable phones which launched exclusively on AT&T including the iPhone, the Facebook phone and the Nokia Lumia 700 — Amazon likely hopes it fares better than the latter two, though.
AT&T currently provides wireless data for Amazon Kindle tablets and ereaders. Reports circulated several months ago speculating that the two companies could team up again for the Amazon phone, including packaging the phone with a sort-of data plan tied to Amazon’s Prime subscription service.
Over the last few months, TechCrunch has revealed key features of Amazon’s upcoming smartphone including its ability to track a user’s head resulting in a sort-of 3D effect. This is done through four front-facing infrared cameras — a feature that will be exclusive to Amazon’s phone. Yet insiders report to TechCrunch that the feature is little more than a gimmick.
Amazon is expected to announce the phone tomorrow at a Seattle-based event. Gimmicks or not, we’ll be there.
by Matt Burns