Do we detect a little extra joy in Jeff Bezos’s supervillain laugh lately? Well, a spot of plotting does warm the heart, and it sounds like he’s cooking up something big. Judging from a Bloomberg report this morning, it’s looking like that Amazon smartphone may very well be more than mere rumor.
Anyone from Microsoft might just want to go ahead and leave the room; coming on the heels of that Vanity Fair article, this’ll just upset you.
Bloomberg cites two people “with knowledge of the matter,” who claim an Amazon smartphone designed to compete with iPhone and Android is on its way. According to one of those sources, the company is already working with Foxconn on the device.
But the bulk of the article rests on a recent patent-buying spree by Amazon:
Seattle-based Amazon considered buying wireless patents from InterDigital Inc. before the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania- based company said in June that it will sell the assets to Intel Corp. for $375 million, two people said. Amazon is taking pitches and setting up briefings with other sellers, the people said.
Amazon isn’t confirming jack, and the company’s spokesman refused to comment for the piece. But given the increasingly ugly tone of the patent wars–for example, good luck getting hold of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus in the U.S.–Amazon may very well just be taking steps to protect its existing hardware business. After all, Google coughed up billions for Motorola and its patent portfolio.
Nonetheless, someone should probably check on Steve Ballmer’s office furniture.