Amazon's New Branded Phone Business Evaporates Like It Was Never There

How fast do you have to be to keep up with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)? Since Friday (Sept. 6) the e-commerce giant has gotten into and then out of the free-smartphone business—at least if you believe news reports. On Friday, former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin reported that Amazon "is considering introducing its long-planned smartphone for free to consumers, according to people familiar with Amazon's effort," adding that Amazon had no comment. By Sunday, Amazon had a comment: "We have no plans to offer a phone this year, and if we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free," according to a statement reported by All Things D. That might sound definitive, but by Monday the new storyline was clear: Amazon confirms it won't offer its own phone this year. Macy's, Target, Costco and McDonald's—none of whom will offer their own phones this year either—can only dream of coverage like that. Story