Late last week, Wall Street Journal vets Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati claimed that an Amazon phone launch was imminent, and that the handset would be free. Amazon has responded to those claims, stating that neither is true.
Despite ongoing rumors about an Amazon phone, we're not really any closer to knowing what Bezos & Co. is thinking about it. Now, though, Amazon has told Lessin and Efrati that it has no intentions of releasing a phone this year, and furthermore, it wouldn't be free if it did anyway.
Of course, that's a company line, and could just be the story that Amazon is choosing to tell. But there's probably some truth in the idea that the phone wouldn't be completely free. In reality, it seems most likely that the device would just be heavily subsidized—like the Kindle Fire—in a bid to encourage consumers to purchase apps and media through Amazon.
Realistically, it's tough to know when and what to expect from an Amazon phone, and this latest rumor doesn't really further our understanding at all—apart from telling us that we probably have a bit longer to wait than we thought on Friday. [Jessica Lessin]