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(Pocket-lint) - Amazon is rumoured to be looking to release its own smartphone, in order to compete directly with Apple, Google and, to some extent, Microsoft. Two separate sources have revealed that the online retail giant is working with Foxconn, the Taiwanese firm that makes iPhone and iPad devices for Apple, to create the new handset.

It's also said that Amazon is currently looking to acquire patents to cover wireless technology that could be implemented in such a device, thereby avoiding being dragged into the court case nonsense that currently involves most of the companies in the sector.

Bloomberg writes that it has been in touch with "two people with knowledge of the matter" and that one of those wishes to remain anonymous as "the plans are private". It is unclear on whether this person is an employee of Amazon, Foxconn or a separate company, or who the other source might be.

However, it is believed that, with the obvious success of the Kindle and, subsequently and more relevantly, the Kindle Fire, Amazon has already proven itself to be more than happy to work with technology manufacturers to create own branded devices.

What hasn't been talked about yet is what operating system might be used for an Amazon phone. The Kindle Fire uses Google's open source Android 2.3 as its basis, but adds heavy customisation - effectively creating a forked version of the software.

We wouldn't be surprised if similar is planned for a mobile phone device.

Would you be interested in an Amazon smartphone? Let us know in the comments below...

Pic: (cc) William Christiansen

Writing by Rik Henderson.