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Amazon teasing mystery smartphone release

Jeff Bezos is at it again. The Amazon CEO has set the tech world on fire with his latest tease, hinting at the release of the company's smartphone.

Amazon already sells and delivers your groceries. It stores your data. It provides you books to read and movies to watch. Why not a smartphone?

Geekwire's Todd Bishop told KIRO Radio's Jason Rantz Show this release has been rumored for years.

"For a while now, for years even, there have been rumors that Amazon is planning to announce its own smartphone, to extend from the Kindle Fire Tablets and the Kindle e-readers into an Android based smartphone," says Bishop. "Most recently, the rumors have been its going to have some sort of a 3D component and a pop out screen experience."

But it's not just the potential of a smartphone that has everyone excited. It's the teaser the company released Wednesday.

"They did not show the device, but they showed customers reacting to the device with everything from astonishment to surprise to saying hey I'm going to use this thing," says Bishop.

The phone is rumored to have five front-facing cameras. Four of them would be used to create a 3D effect that won't require any glasses. The cameras will allow the phone to track your movements and facial expressions and even hand gestures.

"Amazon has been building up to this moment now for years," says Bishop. "They have their own Android app marketplace that feeds into the Kindle Fire tablets, so it's certainly going to be an Android device. It's almost certainly going to be a content-oriented play. That really is where Amazon is making its big strides these days."

3D hasn't really taken off like many people thought it would. There have been problems with eye-strain, especially with devices like Nintendo's 3DS.

But Bishop says he's given up second-guessing Jeff Bezos.

"It's really hard at this point to question Jeff Bezos' business judgment. One of the things he's very fond of saying is that Amazon is very comfortable being misunderstood for long periods of time," says Bishop. "He's building his train and he's going forward with it."

The launch of this mystery device is June 18 in Seattle.

And it's not just for industry big wigs and reporters. The public is invited. You can fill out an online application and possibly be selected for the unveiling.

Subscribe to the GeekWire podcast on KIRORadio.com.

Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio Reporter
Chris loves the rush of covering breaking news and works hard to try to make sense of it all while telling stories about real people in extraordinary circumstances.
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