Amazon reportedly working on ‘Ice’ smartphone with Google Play access

Amazon tried to release a smartphone once, a device called the Fire Phone, which was a heavily modified handset similar in scope and appeal to its Fire tablet lineup.

Amazon tried to position the Fire Phone as a proper competitor to other smartphone releases in the United States, but it didn’t really take off. Depending on who you ask, the fact it didn’t have access to the proper Google Play Store might have been one of the reasons it didn’t fare well. And apparently Amazon might agree with that.

Today we’re seeing a report that Amazon is currently working on a smartphone codenamed “Ice” that will include access to Google’s Play Services, including the Play Store, so owners can download apps directly from the digital storefront and not rely solely on Amazon’s Appstore.

The report from Gadgets 360 says that Amazon will be putting its focus on emerging markets with its Ice phone, like India, and that it will have a display somewhere between 5.2 and 5.5 inches. It will apparently have 16GB of built-in storage, 2GB of RAM, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor to power things along. It may even have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. What’s more, the publication says the handset could launch with a price tag of only $93 or so, but that could change ahead of its launch.

As it stands right now, one interesting omission is apparently Amazon’s own Alexa, which is certainly a curious holdout if true. However, that detail may change before the phone’s arrival.

If the Ice phone is real, it sounds like Amazon’s change in direction for the smartphone market might serve it well. Did you ever try out a Fire Phone?

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