The likelihood that Amazon will launch a smartphone — or a “phablet,” as the case may be — at some point in the next six to nine months seems to grow more likely each day. Bloomberg reported last week that the company is testing a smartphone with manufacturing partner Foxconn, and The Wall Street Journal would later add that the device will likely feature a display measuring between 4 and 5 inches when it launches later this year or early in 2013. Now, Richard Williams, former director of business development with Microsoft’s Windows Phone unit, has left Microsoft to join Amazon as director of the Amazon Appstore. Williams is the second Microsoft executive to leave the company’s Windows Phone division and join Amazon, following Brandon Watson, who made the switch earlier this year. Amazon’s first smartphone offering is expected to be a low-cost device that takes aim directly at Android vendors including HTC, LG and Sony.
[Via Business Insider]