Mobile

Kindle smartphone rumors surge as Amazon considers TI processor buy

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One of the core successes of Apple’s hardware strategy is the company’s ability to exercise complete control over everything that goes on both inside and outside of its devices.

That ability is at the heart of Amazon’s potential buy of Texas Instruments’ mobile-focused OMAP chip line. The rumor, reported first by Israeli news site, Calcalist, would give Amazon more control over what goes into its tablets. If true, it would also lend credence to the company’s smartphone ambitions.

While Texas Instruments’ OMAP chips are used in devices like the Droid, Galaxy Nexus, Nook HD, and, unsurprisingly, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9, the future of the OMAP has been in doubt as of late: Last month, Texas Instruments announced it was moving away from the mobile market, which the company said wasn’t as attractive as it once was.

That’s where Amazon steps in. What better why to develop a smartphone than by buying an established processor line that’s already in use by popular devices? (Self-developing chips is a strategy that’s worked well for Samsung and Apple, after all.)

Further, owning its own chip line means that Amazon can cut some of the costs from the manufacturing of future devices. This is a big deal for the company, which sells its hardware at cost and recoups its losses on content sales.

We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment on the report and will update this post when the company responds.