Amazon may offer upcoming smartphone for free. Who's next?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon may soon offer its long-awaited smartphone to customers for free, former Wall Street Journal reporters Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati said in a blog post Friday.

People familiar with the effort said the company wants the phone to be free whether or not people sign up for a wireless plan, they reported. Typically, wireless carriers discount the price of devices if customers sign up for a one- or two-year wireless contract.

The plan isn't set in stone, and the pair reported that the venture will depend on whether Amazon can work out financial arrangements with hardware partners.

It's unclear when the product will launch, but Efrati and Lessin—who recently launched a new, as-yet unnamed tech blog—say it will likely be sold directly through the company's website.

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