Amazon has a thriving hardware business. It develops and sells some of the most popular e-readers and tablets. The company has long been rumored to be working on a smartphone, not much is known about that device up till now. According to a new report, perhaps Amazon will offer its smartphone free to customers. It isn’t known right now what sort of a catch will be attached to the company’s smartphone, it has apparently contacted wireless carriers about the possibility of carrying its new device. Though it is believed that Amazon will offer the smartphone through its own website. The rumor comes from two former journalists who worked at WSJ.

There’s a possibility that along with the free smartphone, the company might require customers to sign up for Amazon Prime. However, people who are reportedly familiar with the matter claim that Amazon wants the smartphone to be free for customers even if they don’t sign up for any service. Much like the Kindle tablets, the smartphone is said to run on a forked version of Android. Amazon will obviously have to cover up the cost of production, it can’t offer free smartphones out of its pocket to customers. It will have to come up with a plan that’s radically different, the company hasn’t said anything as yet about those plans.

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