UPDATE 1-AT&T to be exclusive carrier for Amazon smartphone - WSJ

Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:14am EDT

(Adds details, AT&T declining to comment)

June 17 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc will exclusively carry Amazon.com Inc's long-rumored smartphone that is expected to be launched on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the plans. (r.reuters.com/gav22w)

Amazon.com revived speculation about its next major product earlier this month, using a mysterious YouTube video and website post to announce a June 18 "launch event" in Seattle to be hosted by Chief Executive Jeff Bezos.

The Journal and several tech blogs have reported that the internet retailer may be working on a phone with a three-dimensional display.

Rumors of an Amazon-designed smartphone have circulated for years, though executives have played down ambitions to leap into a heavily competitive and increasingly saturated market dominated by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd .

AT&T was the exclusive partner of Apple Inc when it launched the iPhone in 2007.

AT&T declined to comment, while Amazon could not be reached immediately.

Shares of both companies were little changed in premarket trading on Tuesday. (Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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