The mystery IT giant planning to launch a new smartphone to compete with Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others is Amazon – with Apple iPhone maker Foxconn the original design manufacturer lined up to produce the device, according to the Bloomberg newswire.
The move follows the company's shift into Kindle ebook readers and tablet computers with the Kindle Fire, which is based on a highly customised version of Google's Android operating system. The aim is to control the burgeoning market for digital downloads by controlling the devices that consumers will use.
However, increasing anti-trust concerns are being raised by exclusivity agreements between ebook providers and publishers that mean that some books can only be read on one particular maker's ebook reader.
Amazon has even explored acquiring wireless companies with patent portfolios in a bid to protect its entry into the market, according to Bloomberg. A tentative move for InterDigital, however, was headed off when chip maker Intel swooped to acquire the company for $375m (£240m) in June instead.
Earlier this year, Ted Morgan, the CEO of location-based service provider Skyhook, had revealed that his company was being lined up to provide services to a new mobile device platform from an IT industry giant.
Speculation at the time pointed to either Facebook or Amazon, while Morgan has, in the past, criticised Google for the control that it has sought to exert over the supposedly open-source Android mobile platform.
Nevertheless, Google's forthcoming Nexus 7 subsidised Android tablet device will ship on 19 July, according to retailer Currys, which inadvertently posted the release date on its website.
The device is Google's answer to the Kindle Fire, which was built as a crossover between an ebook reader and a tablet computer.