Amazon shacks up with HTC -

Online bookseller Amazon is developing three smartphones with HTC to compete with Apple and Google.

According to the Financial Times, one device is already in an advanced stage of development.

However word on the street is that Amazon may not release it until 2014, if it can be bothered doing so at all.

Amazon and HTC could not be immediately reached for comment, but there has been rumour and speculation that the pair would release a phone ever since the bookseller started selling tablets.

In 2011, Citigroup said that Amazon would launch a smartphone in 2012 through a partnership with Foxconn. This never came about presumably, as Amazon could not see much of a connection with the other parts of its business.

There is also the problem that it had with finding telcos to support its products in Europe. It is not clear what might have changed the bookseller's mind, as it is doing rather well flogging tablets.

The FT thinks that selling smartphones could help Amazon foster greater consumer loyalty as people will read content on phones as well as tablets.