Jun 17th, 2014

amazon smartphone renders

Hoping to buy whatever smartphone Amazon happens to announce at their big event tomorrow? It doesn’t sound like it’ll be all that easy unless you’re an AT&T customer (or willing to become one). The Wall Street Journal is announcing that AT&T will be named as the exclusive carrier to offer Amazon’s smartphone.

AT&T is well-known for securing interesting device exclusives. We needn’t look much further than the launch of the original iPhone and various follow-ups to see that they’re willing to pay top dollar to offer something no one else can. (That partnership ended quite a while ago, of course.)

And Amazon’s dealings with AT&T aren’t anything new. Although AT&T doesn’t get the fanfare and parade for it, they are the exclusive provider for Kindle 3G’s free data in the United States. It isn’t hard to believe the strength of that partnership has moved Amazon to consider getting in bed with AT&T for their first smartphone.

This also isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Amazon and AT&T partnering up for this release. The earliest rumors named AT&T as a provider of “Prime Data,” which would be a data channel for people to consume Amazon content — such as books, streaming movies and TV, and MP3s — over AT&T’s network without it counting toward their data limit.

The pieces are all falling into place, and tomorrow should be a very interesting day to say the least. You know our eyes will be peeled to see how it all plays out so be sure to circle back for everything you need to know.

[via Wall Street Journal]

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