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Amazon enters the smartphone fray

Guess you are not taken seriously these days unless you lose a few billion on smartphones.

When it comes to smartphone profits, Apple and Samsung divide them up, leaving crumbs for every other manufacturer. At least in the United States, phones are a mature market, with 120 million sold last year.

Now Amazon is giving this brutal business a shot. On the one hand, analysts say, it has no choice. On the other, the rewards could be tremendous.

“Mobile is asserting not just its utility but its supremacy,” said James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research. “If you’re Amazon, you’re worried you’re going to be cut out of the next big interface. So you jump in and make yourself relevant, whether your customer is in the bathroom, the kitchen or the car. You go for broke.”

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