5 features an Amazon phone might offer

Amazon hasn't confirmed that it has plans for a smartphone. Introducing such a device would be tough in a crowded market dominated by Apple and Samsung. Even so, innovations like the Kindle Fire and Prime membership program demonstrate that the online retailing giant has a knack for capitalizing on gaps in the marketplace.

Some unconfirmed reports say the phone could have a 3-D interface and multiple front-facing cameras.

Here's a look at five features technology experts believe Amazon might include on a smartphone.

1. 3-D shopping: You could pull up a 3-D image of sneakers or a jacket and see all of the features easier, suggests Bill Menezes, principal research analyst at Gartner.

2. Enhanced games: Amazon is rapidly expanding into the gaming arena with its Amazon Game Studio and video game offerings on its new streaming device, Amazon Fire TV. "A phone could be a way to help them potentially push more on the game front," says CRT Capital analyst Neil Doshi.

3. Seamless grocery shopping: Amazon has been testing a Wi-Fi wand called Amazon Dash that simplifies barcode scanning. Combine that with Amazon's same-day grocery service Amazon Fresh, currently in testing in Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and grocery shopping could be drastically simplified.

4. Free streaming video: One of the phone's selling points could be a free ad-supported version of Amazon's current instant Video service, which is included in the $99-per-year Prime membership.

5. Competitive pricing: One tier could be a one-time payment for the phone that offers Amazon's apps and services but a limited number of other features. A higher price tier could feature a monthly bill and a phone with more bells and whistles.

5 features an Amazon phone might offer 04/20/14 [Last modified: Sunday, April 20, 2014 6:30pm]

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