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Amazon testing new smartphone: report

(AFP) – The online retail giant Amazon is testing a new smartphone and may launch production later this year or early next year, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The story, datelined Taipei, said the company is working with Asian component suppliers to test the new device, which would enter a crowded market dominated by Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy handsets and LG models.

Amazon, the electronic books pioneer whose Kindle reader has grown enormously popular in recent years, expanded into the tablet market last year with Kindle Fire, which runs on Google’s Android software.

The Android platform is used by slightly more than half the smartphones in the US market, while the iPhone accounts for 31.9 percent, according to an industry survey released earlier this month.

In the overall US market for mobile handsets, Korean-based Samsung led with 25.7 percent, followed by LG, another Korean firm, with 19.1 percent and Apple with 15 percent, according to the survey by the comScore group.

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