Foxconn preparing to build smartphones for Amazon and Microsoft ahead of mid-2013 launch
Electronics manufacturing firm Foxconn International Holdings (FIH) has reportedly landed contracts to build smartphones for Microsoft and Amazon, which are expected to launch in the middle of 2013.
DigiTimes reports sources in upstream suppliers have confirmed the news, although FIH and its parent company Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) have not officially confirmed the orders.
Foxconn Electronics is best known as the manufacturer of Apple’s iPhone, while FIH assembles smartphones for Nokia, Sony, Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE and white box vendors.
The news comes as Microsoft increasingly moves towards an Apple-style vertically integrated business model, with the company looking to also boost its retail operations across Europe next year.
Microsoft had previously manufactured its own mobile phones under the “Kin” brand during 2010, which the company introduced to the market despite testers calling them a "piece of sh-t".
The new smartphones have the potential to place the company in direct competition with Nokia, which appears to be experiencing a resurgence as a result of its Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 920 smartphones.
Due to poor reviews and sales, the “Kin” phones were killed off after just 48 days on the market despite a high-profile launch from the company.