Report: Amazon Exploring Offering Prime Subscribers Cellular Service

Not too many details are known at this point

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Amazon might be making a play for cellphone service.
Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Amazon: it’s the place where plenty of people do the bulk of their online shopping. It’s also a grocery store, a book publisher, a film and television studio and a web hosting platform. Lately, it’s also deepening its forays into technology, including buying Roomba manufacturer iRobot in 2022. All of which makes a recent Bloomberg report to the extent that Amazon is looking to get into the cellular service business that much more intriguing.

It sounds as though Amazon is looking to add either free or deeply discounted cellular service to its Prime membership program. Engadget has some details as to what’s been rumored — including what carriers might be involved. The tech giant is reportedly talking to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and the Dish Network — though talks with AT&T don’t seem to be going as well as those with their counterparts.

Details are relatively scarce beyond this point. One possibility that Engadget’s overview doesn’t take into account is whether this could be Amazon’s attempt to create a competitor to Google Fi, which runs on several mobile networks. It’s also possible that Amazon will not rest until everyone on the planet is a Prime subscriber, and they feel that cellphone service might entice a few holdouts.

It’s also worth noting that — if this does materialize — it wouldn’t be Amazon’s first foray into the cellular market. Some may recall the Fire Phone, which launched in 2014 and didn’t exactly revolutionize the industry. That, too, might explain why Amazon seems to be going a very different route here, potentially emphasizing service over technology.

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