Amazon Reportedly Field Testing Smartphone

According to the tech rumor mill, Amazon is now in the process of developing a smartphone to challenge Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices possibly as soon as early 2013.

Sources close to the project say the smartphone would represent a mobile extension of the popular Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.

Late Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that field testing has already begun for the Amazon smartphone, which sports a four to five inch touchscreen panel and a slim design.

For the mobile shopping junkies among us, this smartphone could be a hugely attractive alternative to other devices in the mobile space, as it’s believed to be the ultimate mCommerce-friendly smartphone.

“The market for smartphones is rapidly expanding with demand particularly strong in China and other emerging markets where many people are replacing their traditional cellphones,” says Lorraine Luk of the Wall Street Journal. “Research firm IDC expects global smartphone shipments to grow 38.8% this year to 686 million units.”

For now, Amazon won’t confirm any plans for a smartphone. Then again, Amazon didn’t confirm the Kindle Fire tablet before launch either.

By all accounts, supply chain sources and industry analysts almost universally agree that the Amazon smartphone is coming… and soon.