Amazon to Announce Smartphone on Wednesday, AT&T Exclusive Carrier

Amazon is expected to introduce its own smartphone on Wednesday, and AT&T will be the exclusive carrier. Apple struck a similar deal with AT&T when the iPhone first launched, which gave the cell service provider a healthy boost in its competition with U.S. market leader Verizon.

Amazon ready to jump into the smartphone marketAmazon ready to jump into the smartphone market

The launch will happen during an event in Seattle, according to sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal, with plans to ship by the end of September.

Rumors claim Amazon's smartphone sports a 4.7-inch touch sensitive display, 720p resolution, six cameras -- one of which is 13 megapixel for high resolution photo and video capture -- designed to help create 3D-like effects without the need for special glasses, and 3D effects in the interface, too.

Amazon's move into the smartphone market is likely more about customer lock-in than taking away customers from Apple and Samsung. Much like the Kindle ebook reader, an Amazon smartphone would be an always accessible portal into the retailer's online store and would also let the company track user activities which could then be used to better target offers and special deals.

There isn't any word yet on exactly how much Amazon's phone will cost. If the company follows the same model it uses for the Kindle, customers will be able to pay a lower price for a version that shows ads on-screen, or for an extra fee they can use the device ad-free.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]